Kelowna closing playgrounds but trails stay open for now - InfoNews

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Kelowna closing playgrounds but trails stay open for now

March 23, 2020 - 2:14 PM

Kelowna Mayor Colin Basran announced today, March 23, that all 81 city playgrounds and all outside exercise facilities in the city are closed because of the COVID-19 pandemic.

This includes tennis, pickleball and basketball courts and other places where people gather, he announced at a news conference.

“For now, open spaces and walkways will remain open,” he said “But should users of these space not practice safe distancing, we will be forced to take further action. This also applies to businesses that have been ordered closed. Further action will be taken for those that are not compliant with the provincial medical health officer’s order.”

Central Okanagan school district announced in a media release today it was closing school playground equipment to public use.

The Central Okanagan Regional District closed playgrounds last week and Kamloops followed suit earlier today.

While today’s city council meeting is going ahead, the public hearing scheduled for April 7 has been cancelled.

Basran said a local state of emergency has not been declared because the provincial state of emergency grants the City sufficient powers.

He also noted that the ability to defer property taxes lies with the province but that Kelowna supports a deferral.

He also praised the efforts of all those who have to continue working through the COVID-1 pandemic.

“We will be placing hearts on the front of the City Hall as symbols of our thanks to all of those front line workers who have to continue to leave their homes to go to work and do not have the ability to work from home or take time off," he said in the release.

"I would encourage anyone to do the same on the front windows and doors so that our neighbours driving past our homes know they have our support.”

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