After Vancouver City Council officially declared a state of emergency in the city earlier this week in an ongoing effort to battle COVID-19, Mayor Kennedy Stewart – along with other city officials – announced on Friday that the city is shuttering all restaurant table service, closing playgrounds, and creating a dedicated coronavirus task force.
The order to shut down all restaurant table service takes effect at midnight on Friday.
Only takeout or delivery will be allowed, and any establishment found to be operating table service as of 12:01 am on March 21 will be subject to enforcement. All bars have already been closed, as per the government’s order, province-wide.
Also effective immediately, the Vancouver Park Board will be closing all of its 166 playgrounds across the city, in an effort to minimize public gatherings and the potential of risk to the community.
“I know that closing all food and beverage to everything but takeout or delivery will mean serious hardship for many people, workers and business owners, but we are acting now with one goal ― keeping people safe,” said Stewart. “This new reality we are all experiencing will have significant economic impacts.”
This, he continued, is also why “we are also looking at all options to provide immediate and medium-term local response and government advocacy. To all businesses and workers in Vancouver, we hear you and we will do everything we can to support you.”
The city said it has also created a dedicated coronavirus task force, which is being led by Vancouver Fire Chief Darrell Reid who will report directly to City Manager Sadhu Johnston.
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The City of Vancouver officially declared a local state of emergency as a result of coronavirus on March 19.
The declaration of a state of emergency allows staff to take additional measures to ensure the City of Vancouver has the resources needed to maintain essential services and meet the demands of other agencies, including Vancouver Coastal Health.
“Our teams have been doing phenomenal work to combat COVID-19 and protect the people of the city of Vancouver,” said Johnston. “These extraordinary times call for extraordinary measures. Under Chief Reid’s leadership, the COVID-19 Task Force will coordinate all aspects of COVID-19 mitigation, response, and recovery for the City of Vancouver. This gives us the capability to respond as rapidly as possible to this evolving situation.”
The City of Vancouver continues to work with public health officials and multiple partners on the coronavirus response.
All closures and service delivery information can be found on the city’s website.
More to come…