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‘COVIDIOTS’ hashtag catches on to call out COVID-19 social distancing failures

Vancouver Park Board introduces more measures to limit access to outdoor facilities to combat coronavirus
The Vancouver Park Board is using caution tape to keep people away from playground equipment. Photo
The Vancouver Park Board is using caution tape to keep people away from playground equipment. Photo Jennifer Gauthier

Canadians, Americans and people across the globe are calling out those who fail to practise social distancing, using the hashtags "#Covidiot" and “#Covidiots,” as fears about the spread of COVID-19 continue.

On Friday, March 20, the City of Vancouver and Vancouver Park Board announced more than 160 playgrounds in parks would close as the number of cases of the virus continued to increase across Canada and B.C.

In Canada there are 1,302 cases — 424 in B.C., which has the highest number in the country.

In Vancouver, some residents continued to gather at parks, the beach, the seawall and playgrounds this weekend despite warnings that staying at home or remaining at least six-feet apart are necessary to curb coronavirus cases. The park board has even posted signs reminding people not to gather in groups.

On Saturday Vancouver Coun. Sarah Kirby-Yung tagged the Vancouver Park Board on social media, asking it to shut down Andy Livingstone Park after CBC reporter Justin McElroy posted a video of soccer players ignoring health officials’ social distancing advice.

On Sunday, March 22, park board general manager Malcolm Bromley posted a video online showing staff removing logs from beaches to discourage people sitting close to one another.

Basketball hoops at Kits Beach are also being taken down, while measures are being taken to limit access to other outdoor recreation facilities in Vancouver as well.

 

Even Quarry Rock in Deep Cove and Lynn Canyon Suspension Bridge were closed as of Sunday morning because visitors were failing to “keep 2 metres' distance, despite signs and staff enforcing physical distancing at trail entrances,” the District of North Vancouver announced.

That decision seemed to be having an effect on visitors to the area late Sunday morning.

Federal health officials warned March 22 fines and arrests may be imposed if the problem continues. The Emergency Measures Act is on the table, according to Canada’s Health Minister Patty Hajdu.