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Metro Vancouver cities shut down facilities due to COVID-19
VANCOUVER -- With B.C.'s cases of COVID-19 continuing to rise, some cities across Metro Vancouver are closing their facilities to stop the spread of the virus.
As of Monday, provincial health authorities said there were 103 confirmed cases of the virus and over 6,300 people had been tested.
Here are the cities that have announced closures.
On Monday, the City of Vancouver announced it is closing all community centres, pools, fitness centres, ice rinks and golf courses. All Vancouver Public Library locations and civic theatres will be closed too.
In addition, events at park board sports fields will be cancelled and attractions like Van Dusen Botanical Gardens, the Bloedel Conservatory and the Stanley Park Train will all be closed.
"My top priority is to ensure we do all we can to slow the spread of the virus," Mayor Kennedy Stewart said in a news conference.
Last week, the city cancelled or postponed all city-run gatherings and events with more than 250 people.
Increased cleaning at all City of Vancouver, Vancouver Park Board and Vancouver Public Library facilities is also expected.
The City of Burnaby announced on Monday that it will be closing all of its public facilities including recreation centres, arenas, libraries, cultural facilities, golf courses and city-operated restaurants as of Wednesday, March 18.
"We understand this will have a significant impact on residents," said Mayor Mike Hurley in a news release. "But this is an extraordinary time, and it’s important that we all do what's necessary to contain the spread of coronavirus."
Refunds will be given to anyone who has registered for programs that are affected by the closure of facilities, the city says.
On Monday, the City of North Vancouver announced it is suspending all gatherings with 50 people or more until further notice. Cleaning protocols are also increasing at city facilities and public and staff are asked to stay away from city hall and facilities if they feel sick.
Residents and businesses are also asked to use the city's online services as much as possible instead of going to city hall.
On Sunday, the District of West Vancouver announced all district-run facilities except municipal hall, the West Vancouver Police Station, all fire halls, the operations centre and the Capilano View Cemetery would be closed as of 8 p.m. Monday.
The closure will include all West Vancouver community centres and cultural facilities, the district said.
"In response to the provincial ban on mass gatherings, and to preserve the legitimacy of our engagement processes, the district is also postponing all in-person public engagement on district initiatives and development applications until further notice," the district said on its website.
On Monday morning, Port Coquitlam announced it was closing all city-run facilities effective immediately. Those closures include Port Coquitlam Community Centre, Hyde Creek Centre, Terry Fox Library, Outlet and the Gathering Place. Services are also being limited at city hall and other city facilities.
"In the best interest and safety of our residents, we have made the right decision to close our community facilities," said Mayor Brad West in a statement.
"We all have an important role to play to help stop the spread of the virus. We are doing our part. I ask that every Port Coquitlam resident and business follow the advice being provided by health authorities. Together we will get through this."
As of March 16, Surrey is closing all of its recreation centres, skating rinks, pools and libraries. The city made the announcement on Sunday.
"Given the ongoing concerns surrounding COVID-19, I am taking a proactive approach to ensure the health and safety of our residents," said Mayor Doug McCallum in a statement.
The city said customers will be able to get a full refund if they have registered for activities affected by the closure.
Spring break camps and licensed childcare facilities will continue to operate, however.
Delta's recreation centres, community centres, ice arenas, swimming pools, art centres, archives, senior centres are all closed as of March 16. Senior bus services are also being suspended.
"Acting under the continued advice of the Provincial Medical Health Office regarding 'social distancing,' it is important that the City of Delta take important steps to protect all Delta citizens," Delta's mayor, George Harvie, said in a statement.
"The decision to close our recreation facilities is being done in the best interest of public health."
Registered spring break programs are still expected to run and city hall will be open as usual.
In a news release Monday, the city said it would close the following civic facilities effective Tuesday: Port Moody Recreation Complex, Kyle Centre, Glenayre Community Centre, Heritage Mountain Community Centre, Old Orchard Hall and the Port Moody Public Library.
The city said it has cancelled all city-organized events, as well as community-organized events held on city property that would be attended by more than 50 people.
However, Port Moody's spring break camps will continue to operate out of the city's rec centre. They're being run with "enhanced cleaning measures in place," the city said.
Cities limit gatherings
On Friday, several municipalities said facilities would remain open, but events and gatherings with more than 250 people would be suspended until further notice.
Those cities include:
- New Westminster