24.7 C
Elmira
Friday, July 3, 2020
COVID-19 Pandemic Coverage

Parks closed, but not everyone respecting social distancing

While health officials have advised Canadians to remain active despite social distancing and self-isolation related to the coronavirus outbreak, they warn against doing so in groups.

Municipal, provincial and national parks have all been closed, though passive use has remained an option. But even then, some people have not been following physical distancing guidelines. This has been documented with social media postings and with sightings at the likes of municipal playgrounds, which pose the dual problem of people congregating at them and the issue of many hands on the equipment.

In Woolwich, the closure of parks and playgrounds followed the shuttering of municipal facilities. While building doors can be locked, the township doesn’t have the resources to monitor its open spaces, said recreation director Ann McArthur, noting signs have been put up at playgrounds.

“Municipalities will not be enforcing the closure of playgrounds at this time,” she said this week. “As guided by Public Health, the community is expected to practise physical distancing and refrain from using facilities that are closed in a collective effort to stop the spread of COVID-19.”

It’s a similar situation in Wellesley Township, said director of recreation Danny Roth.

“We have put signs up, and posted on our webpage and social media, similar to what other municipalities are doing. We can’t police our playgrounds and parks all day and night long,  we just need the public to recognize and accept the reason they are closed.”

The Grand River Conservation Authority this week closed all of its parks until April 6. The organization has also noticed some people failing to adhere to the COVID-19 measures.

“Our parks staff have observed an increase in visitors. While many visitors have respected social distancing measures, our staff have reported concerns with some large groups of people, illegal parking and people entering areas that are marked as closed,” said GRCA communications manager Lisa Stocco in a release.

“We are urging the community to respect the closures,” she said. “With the gates closed, and limited staff, we are reminding the public that it will make it difficult for emergency services personnel to assist people within the parks in the event of an emergency. Anyone who chooses to ignore the closure is putting their own safety, and potentially the safety of others at risk.”

No pedestrian traffic will be permitted within Grand River Parks during this period of time, and those who enter will be trespassing. Municipal partners are being made aware of these closures.

Those who choose to ignore the closures and park outside of the parks on municipal roadways may be subject to fines, said Stocco.

The province last week closed all of its parks until April 30, as did Parks Canada for all the spaces under its jurisdiction.

#StayStrongWR We're all in this together.

  In times of crisis there's always room for some good news. Let us know what is happening in your neighbourhoods.

Region looking at mask-wearing policy as officials note a threat remains

The number of new cases may have tailed off, but the coronavirus remains a threat to residents here, Waterloo Region officials maintain.

First wave of coronavirus has yet to pass, health officials warn

The number of new cases remains low and there have been no new fatalities in weeks, but Waterloo Region is not done...

Dealing with stress has been a big part of our response to COVID-19, expert says in WCHC presentation

The coronavirus pandemic and resultant lockdown having thrown everything out of equilibrium, disrupting our sense of normalcy, it’s no surprise that emotions...

Region launches campaign to encourage residents to wear masks

While not yet mandatory, face masks are being promoted by health officials as a way to curb the spread of the coronavirus...

Public Health urges caution as reopening continues; case numbers remain stable

Precautions against the spread of the virus have to be the “new normal” if the region is to avoid a surge in...
- Advertisement -