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COVID-19: Playgrounds closed in Alberni-Clayoquot Regional District, on west coast

Signage will be posted at playgrounds “as soon as possible”
Children from Shining Star Child Care Centre are the first to play on the new climbing structure and swings at Roger Creek Water Park in Port Alberni, on Friday, June 1, 2018. The climbing ropes and ‘peek out spots’ were the most popular features with the kids. SUSAN QUINN PHOTO

All playgrounds within the City of Port Alberni and Alberni-Clayoquot Regional District have been closed in an effort to stop the spread of COVID-19.

This decision was made on Sunday, March 22 by the ACRD Emergency Operations Centre to protect residents and encourage social distancing in the communities.

READ MORE: COVID-19: Highway 4 Kennedy Hill project scaled back

“The elected leaders of the City and ACRD received considerable feedback on the need to close City and ACRD playgrounds,” said Doug Holmes, Emergency Operations Centre director. “Taking into account the increasing importance of practicing social distancing, and knowing that COVID-19 can live on hard surfaces and be transferred to users of playground equipment, we feel it prudent to take this step as a further measure to help prevent the spread of coronavirus.”

Signage will be posted at city and ACRD playgrounds “as soon as possible,” according to Holmes.

READ: Parks Canada to close access to trails

On Monday, March 23, School District 70 announced that all playgrounds located on school district property are also closed until further notice.

“This decision is not made lightly, but rather in an attempt to stop the spread of the COVID-19 virus that can live on and be transferred from the surfaces of playground equipment,” said superintendent Greg Smyth.

Parks Canada last week closed national parks, BC Parks have closed provincial parks and on Tuesday, March 24 Parks Canada announced plans to close parking lots at trailheads. Federal minister of the environment Jonathan Wilkinson said the move was to counter soaring visitation levels on trails and in parking lots.

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