By Lyonel Doherty
Flowers are blooming, the new park on Fairview Road has grass, and businesses are reopening.
Looks like Oliver is getting back on its feet and a “new normal” is taking hold.
The Town of Oliver itself is getting ready to launch its restart plan as council deliberates reopening the Town Hall and Public Works under enhanced protocols.
“With the further lifting of restrictions, if the transmission rate remains low or in decline, (these protocols) will be undertaken starting in June through September,” said Chief Administrative Officer Cathy Cowan.
Meanwhile, some businesses have reopened, such as Expert Hearing, Westland Insurance, and Chantal’s Wax Bar & Esthetics, which are closely following guidelines set out by WorkSafeBC.
Chantal Hudon from Chantal’s Wax Bar admitted the pandemic has been a real struggle for her and clients.
“I am excited but cautious now that we are open. I’m very fortunate that it is only myself and work alone, making it a bit easier to implement the new regulations.”
She acknowledged how difficult it would be with a large staff.
Hudon said she has been ordering supplies for the past few weeks, but it has been a challenge.
“It has been very hard to get orders on proper supplies for the past couple weeks especially with the announcement of phase two reopening.”
Hudon said she decided to reopen once she had a clear outline on what policies and procedures to follow from WorkSafeBC.
She noted that all clients need to wear their own mask or use a disposable mask that she provides. And each client who books a service receives a clear outline on the new changes prior to the appointment. “With that being said, I’ve opened for business, but I am taking it slow, booking all my clients back in and leaving extra time in between each for proper disinfection and sanitization.”
Hudon admitted that some people believe it’s too early for businesses to reopen.
“I say do what feels right for you. Each individual will feel different and what works for some may not work for others.”
But she knows one thing for sure: “All my clients have been elated to be back!”
Michele Spillett, office assistant at Expert Hearing Solutions Ltd., said they have a whole new learning curve since reopening.
“We were all very cautious at first with our doors locked and allowing one patient in at a time.”
She added they had to learn about sanitation products, personal protective equipment and new health guidelines.
“Implementing all of their directives definitely was a challenge.”
Spillett said people were really excited to see the business continue the service and to see a smiling face again.
She pointed out they have cleared their office of any unnecessary cloth furniture and replaced it with plastic washable furniture six feet apart. They also have a plexiglass screen at the front desk and provide masks for the patients, who are first screened via telephone prior to coming in (to ensure they are low risk.)
“We have established a strong sense of trust and safety within our community and the patients that we have are like a family and we try our best to keep their interests and health and safety a priority every day,” Spillett said.
She noted that clinic practices have been adapted to enable social distancing between worker and patient.
A new “low touch” policy in all Expert Hearing clinics dramatically reduces the number of times that clinicians come into physical contact with patients.