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City of Vancouver announces more closures of facilities

Eleven handwashing stations set up in Downtown Eastside
Mayor Kennedy Stewart: "Our staff are working around the clock to keep people safe and respond to updates as we get them from our partners in senior governments and public health.” Photo Jennifer Gauthier

The City of Vancouver announced Tuesday more closures of city facilities and service modifications in an effort to reduce the transmission of the COVID-19 coronavirus.

The changes are:

  • Public access to the services centre, revenue services and engineering services at the Crossroads building at Cambie and Broadway will be limited to appointments.
  • The city is working to implement digital solutions such as video conferencing and greater use of phone and email.
  • Council-appointed advisory meetings, open houses, workshops, pop-up and street activities, along with rezoning open houses are suspended until further notice
  • All boards and commissions are suspended until further notice.
  • Permits will be limited to the maximum guidelines set out by the Provincial Health Officer as of the day of the event, with any current permits for gatherings of 50 or more people to be revoked.
  • The park board has cancelled all permits for special events at all of its facilities, effective immediately and until May 30. Permit holders will be issued a refund and will receive priority booking once special events resume.
  • The park board is working toward full closure of children’s day camps at its community centres by the end of the day on Friday, March 20.
  • Operating hours at Carnegie and Evelyne Saller Community Centres are being reduced to 9 a.m. to 8 p.m. Food services at Gathering Place and shower and laundry services at Evelyne Saller will continue. These centres will take a room-by-room approach to reduce group size to less than 50 people.
  • The Homelessness Services Outreach team continues to operate as an essential service and its office at 392 Powell St. remains open from 9a.m. to 4 p.m.
  • The city is no longer taking bookings for memorial services at Mountain View Cemetery Celebration Hall, but casket burials and interments will continue.

The city also noted 11 handwashing stations have been set up in the Downtown Eastside.

"Our staff are working around the clock to keep people safe and respond to updates as we get them from our partners in senior governments and public health," said Mayor Kennedy Stewart in a news release.

"We must and we will continue to move quickly. I know the uncertainty is stressful, especially for seniors and other vulnerable populations. Know that you are our top priority and that we're focused on getting everyone through this together."

The city said it continues to work with public health officials and multiple partners on the COVID-19 response. There is the potential for even further service closures in the days to come as the city makes “every effort to ensure essential services are maintained to the highest level,” the release said.

Residents can check the status of city facilities, events and services on the city’s website, which is update regularly with information regarding the COVID-19 outbreak.