Burnaby's Bonsor rec centre reopens after closure due to COVID cases

In the course of three weeks, COVID cases among staff since March had doubled from eight to 16

The pool at Bonsor Recreation Complex has reopened after briefly closing due to a staff member contracting COVID-19.

In an email to all staff, obtained by the NOW, city manager Lambert Chu said the number of COVID cases among staff since March had doubled within three weeks, from eight to 16. Among those eight new cases, two were Bonsor staff members – one of whom had a positive test and a negative test – according to the city.

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Staff who have come into close contact with those who have contracted the virus are asked to self-isolate and to get tested if they experience symptoms, Chu noted.

“The result of these positive cases has forced the city to close the Bonsor pool facility temporarily and cancel lessons and public swim due to the lack of available aquatic staff to conduct the programs safely,” Chu wrote in his email to staff. “Service level has also been affected in other areas due to staff away in self-isolation.”

In his email to staff, Chu said the city’s COVID situation could become “the perfect storm,” between the eight new cases within the city and the cancellation of events and recreation programs.

“The suspension of these programs and services also has an impact on staff and their hours of work. The convergence of the uncertain times ahead and the rising COVID transmission could become the perfect storm in our life this coming Christmas season,” Chu wrote.

“It is hard for us not to feel the impact of this storm, but there is something we can do to weather this storm, by following the fundamentals: good hygiene practices; face mask; avoid in-person social gathering and events at work and at home; and stay positive and focus on the fact that all pandemics, like storms, have an end.”

Referencing the 2000 film The Perfect Storm, Chu said the tragedy also makes for “a story of courage and determination,” which he said should be a lesson for staff.

In an email, the city said Bonsor has reopened after figuring out staffing issues. The pool had closed Monday afternoon and resumed service Tuesday afternoon.

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