As the response to the coronavirus pandemic evolves rapidly, some municipalities in the Okanagan are closing playgrounds and parks.
At her Monday update, provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry said if you are not in self-isolation at home, it is okay to go outside, but only with your family members in small groups, and to keep two meters away from others while out in public.
Here’s what’s open and what’s closed when it comes to outdoor areas and recreation facilities in the Okanagan.
The District of Coldstream issued a statement Monday saying it is closing all of its public spaces including parks, beaches, parking lots, playing fields, skateboard parks and playgrounds immediately.
“We are asking people NOT to gather in public spaces and to respect the two-meter social distancing protocols,” the municipality said in a statement.
This includes Kal Beach, Creekside Park, Sovereign Park and Coldstream Park.
“We had a couple incidents over the weekend where fairly large groups of people were gathering in parks to play games and that sort of thing and were basically not adhering to the provincial orders,” chief administrative officer Trevor Seibel said.
Municipal staff will lock gates on parks and put up signs to let people know the spaces are closed.
Kelowna’s mayor announced Monday afternoon the city is immediately closing 81 city playgrounds and all outside exercise facilities.
Mayor Colin Basran said this includes tennis courts, pickle ball courts, and basketball courts.
“For now, open spaces and walkways will remain open, but should users of these spaces not practice distancing, we will be forced to take further action,” Basran said.
On Monday afternoon, the City of Penticton was still considering whether to close parks.
The City of Vernon announced on Sunday that all outdoor playgrounds would close due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
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