The City of Vancouver announced on Thursday that it will be cancelling gatherings and events with more than 250 attendees, to further combat the spread of COVID-19.
The announcement was made by Mayor Kennedy Stewart, who says that the cancellation is in place for all gatherings held at city-run facilities, including events hosted by the city, permitted events, and gatherings hosted by a third-party organizer.
COVID-19 Need to Know:
☑️Events scheduled for tonight at @Vancivictheatre are cancelled
☑️We are reviewing all events & programs
☑️All gatherings with 250+ people will be cancelled or postponed, as per the Provincial Health Officer
— City of Vancouver (@CityofVancouver) March 13, 2020
Stewart adds that cleaning protocols are being increased at all city facilities, including those owned by the Vancouver Park Board and the Vancouver Public Library.
“We are also taking steps to make sure City of Vancouver employees, especially front line workers, are safe as they continue to maintain public service,” he says in an updated statement. “Cleaning protocols have been increased at all City of Vancouver, Vancouver Park Board, and Vancouver Public Library facilities and staff are being instructed to contact 8-1-1 or see their doctor if they believe they have been exposed to the virus in any way.”
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The Park Board also announced on social media that in addition to increased cleaning measures, staff will begin to monitor and limit the number of users at the swimming pools at the Hillcrest and Killarney Community Centres, so that they don’t exceed more than 250 users.
In the case that there are 250 people already using the pool, staff will limit access.
Park Board is limiting access to Hillcrest and Killarney pools to a maximum of 250 people, in accordance with new recommendations from the provincial health officer. Staff will monitor the number of patrons and will limit access if capacity is met. Thanks for your understanding. pic.twitter.com/5x11h4Dlzv
— Vancouver Park Board (@ParkBoard) March 13, 2020
Other steps that the city is taking to fight the spread of the virus include the following:
- Posting signage at all facilities reminding members of the public and staff to stay away if they are feeling sick
- Activating the City Business Continuity plans to ensure we can maintain our core City services, such as water, sewers, police and fire
- Ensuring business critical staff have the right tools should they need to work from home
- Working with the business community to assess and understand economic impact and potential strategies
- Responding to questions from the public and our staff, and re-directing to Vancouver Coastal Health as needed
The city also reminded the public of steps it can take to help stop the spread:
- Remain at home if you are feeling sick
- Wash your hands
- Cover your cough or sneeze
With coronavirus on the rise, the BC Ministry of Health is reminding individuals who attend events and large gatherings to monitor their health for signs and symptoms of COVID-19. And if you’re not feeling well, they recommend staying home at this time. Also, due to unexpected cancellations, please check the event you plan to attend is still taking place. Keep up with COVID-19 news here.