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No plans yet to close city parks and trails

City parks and trails are being monitored for social distancing, but there’s no order to close them yet. Fire Chief Darrell Blades, the city's emergency co-ordinator, gave council an update Tuesday on the city’s response to the COVID-19 pandemic.
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City parks and trails are being monitored for social distancing, but there’s no order to close them yet, April 13, 2020.

City parks and trails are being monitored for social distancing, but there’s no order to close them yet.

Fire Chief Darrell Blades, the city's emergency co-ordinator, gave council an update Tuesday on the city’s response to the COVID-19 pandemic. All provincial parks are closed, and Coun. Byron Stewart noted many communities in southern B.C. are starting to close their parks as spring arrives.

There are no closures being recommended at this time, Blades said.

“The real message from Dr. Bonnie Henry over the weekend was for people to get out and enjoy the outside, respect the social distancing rules, use the trails and parks. But we are monitoring the park use,” Blades said. “We’ll look at a patrol schedule for bylaw to visit the parks, but at this time there’s no recommendation … to close any of our parks.”

The city has posted physical distancing signage to parks and trails, and will be putting them at the skateboard later this week.

“We noticed, as most of the snow was melted in the skateboard park, kids were starting to use it yesterday,” Blades said.

Quipped Stewart, “They were out shovelling two days ago.”

There were 28 lab-confirmed cases in northern B.C. as of April 14, up two from the previous day. There is at least one confirmed case in the Blueberry River First Nation, involving a worker at the Peace Villa care home.

The BC Centre for Disease Control says the true number of cases is likely greater than that reported.

Email Managing Editor Matt Preprost at editor@ahnfsj.ca.