YEAR IN REVIEW: May 2020

Austin Tate (left) and his neighbour Imran Zulfigar were removing sod from the boulevard outside Tate’s Fourth Avenue North home Monday as Tate is putting in a bee garden for his daughter in an effort to beautify the boulevard. (Monica Lamb-Yorski photo - Williams Lake Tribune)Austin Tate (left) and his neighbour Imran Zulfigar were removing sod from the boulevard outside Tate’s Fourth Avenue North home Monday as Tate is putting in a bee garden for his daughter in an effort to beautify the boulevard. (Monica Lamb-Yorski photo - Williams Lake Tribune)
Pipers Doug White and Aubrey Jackson perform outside the Williams Lake Seniors Village Friday, May 1, 2020. (Angie Mindus photo)Pipers Doug White and Aubrey Jackson perform outside the Williams Lake Seniors Village Friday, May 1, 2020. (Angie Mindus photo)
Williams Lake RBC Royal Bank teller Debra Weir greets clients entering the bank Monday, May 4, 2020. She questioned whether they were exposed to COVID-19 or exhibited any symptoms. (Monica Lamb-Yorski photo - Williams Lake Tribune)Williams Lake RBC Royal Bank teller Debra Weir greets clients entering the bank Monday, May 4, 2020. She questioned whether they were exposed to COVID-19 or exhibited any symptoms. (Monica Lamb-Yorski photo - Williams Lake Tribune)

May 6, 2020

Dentists make changes to help in emergencies

In an effort to offer services in emergency cases during the COVID-19 pandemic, Williams Lake dentists Dr. Jigar Nandola and Dr. Eswar Mangala of Cariboo Dental Clinic took steps to create a negative pressure room in the basement of their clinic.

“We have been having a lot of calls from patients who are having problems with their teeth and they are in a lot of pain,” said Dr. Nandola, noting he and other dentists have had to refer patients out to Abbotsford and Kamloops for emergency treatment while their wait-list continues to grow.

“So we thought we would try and set something up in Williams Lake to see patients.”

As well as the room and the gear, Dr. Nandola said COVID-19 restrictions have also increased the time between appointments, from 30 minutes for a tooth extraction to up to two hours to allow for treatment and extra cleaning of the room.

“With this set-up we could treat patients who have COVID in an emergency but we are asking anyone with symptoms not to come in.”

May 13, 2020

River valley flooding destroys archaeological sites, uncovers others

Flooding in the Williams Lake River Valley in April washed away thousands of years of Indigenous history while unearthing others.

Sugarcane Archaeology was issued an emergency permit from the Archaeology Branch of British Columbia on May 1, said Whitney Spearing, Williams Lake First Nation manager of title and rights.

“There were two previously recorded archaeological sites present on the reserve prior to us getting there. We were able to assess that one of those sites is heavily damaged and a good piece of it has been pushed into the river valley,” Spearing said.

The other site was intact.

May 13, 2020

COVID testing tent installed outside Cariboo Memorial Hospital

A COVID collection tent was erected outside of Cariboo Memorial Hospital in Williams Lake.

The tent is adjacent to the triage tent that went up at the end of March.

The original larger tent is for assessments of patients presenting to the hospital/emergency department with respiratory symptoms, and for symptomatic patients to get blood work, confirmed Susan Duncan, Interior Health communications.

“The new smaller tent is for our COVID-19 testing clinic, now located by the hospital where there are staff available to handle any appointments for testing,” Duncan said. “As well, people being tested can also be assessed if required.”

As of Wednesday morning, May 6, there were 2,255 confirmed cases in B.C. Of those 74 were hospitalized, 19 required intensive care, 124 deaths and 1,494 people who have recovered.

In Interior Health there have been 179 confirmed cases to date.

May 20, 2020

Five arrested following brazen 150 Mile store ATM robbery

Five suspects were captured by Williams Lake RCMP following a brazen ATM machine theft from the 150 Mile Husky Centre early Wednesday morning, May 13.

At 4:28 a.m., four people walked into the 150 Mile House Husky Centre wearing balaclavas, armed with a weapon and forcibly removed the ATM machine. The suspects then fled the scene, southbound on Highway 97 in a black truck, said Insp Jeff Pelley, OIC Williams Lake Detachment.

One adult is a prolific offender and is well known to the Williams Lake RCMP. Two of the five are youths and will not be named. The black truck and ATM machine have since been recovered. The investigation is ongoing.

May 20, 2020

Restaurants to reopen with new health protocols

With WorkSafeBC guidelines on the menu, restaurants through the Cariboo and the province prepared to offer dine-in services again.

Business developed COVID-19 plans to reopen safely as part of the phase two in B.C.’s restart plan.

“These guidelines are an important step in B.C.’s economic restart process, as they will support businesses and organizations developing their individual COVID-19 safety plans and measures to keep employees and customers safe,” said Harry Bains, Minister of Labour.

“All employers must work with their employees to develop their safety plan to protect everyone as they prepare to reopen.”

May 27, 2020

High tech fish transport system set up to ‘whoosh’ salmon past Big Bar landslide

Just like its name suggests, the ‘Whooshh Passage Portal’ was installed to propel salmon stocks past the Big Bar landslide site on the Fraser River through a ladder and tube system.

The new fish passage network was part of ongoing mitigation efforts since the landslide was discovered in late June of 2019, causing 75,000 cubic metres of rock to fall into the river roughly 100 kilometres north of Lillooet and, in the process, blocking spawning salmon passage into B.C.’s Interior.

Gwil Roberts, director of landslide response for Fisheries and Oceans Canada working at the site, said the system would provide salmon stocks a boost along the Fraser River, past the slide site, once they begin arriving.

“The Whooshh System is on a platform above the river level, fish make their way up to a level [through the fish ladder] where they can then continue into the Whooshh,” Roberts said.

Fish will sense the existence of flowing water coming down the ladder, move up the ladder, come around into a holding pen and from there they will move into the steep pass system of the Whooshh and continue through, sorted and scanned, into tubes and be pushed up river to get over the slide site.


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