By Lethbridge Herald on April 9, 2020.
The City of Lethbridge announced on Thursday it would be extending its Local State of Emergency for the next 90 days as the COVID-19 outbreak continues. Along with renewing this declaration, Co-Director of Emergency Management Greg Adair announced new closures of recreational use areas in the city.
“We’re asking people to stay home,” he said. “We want them to limit the gatherings; so we have added a few more closures in. These include our tennis courts, our pickleball courts, our basketball courts, our disc golf course, our BMX park, our mountain bike park, and our skating parks. These parks will be closed until further notice …. We want to ensure this social distancing and eliminate all of our touch points.”
Adair had originally said golf courses would remain open for the time being as long as they are following strict provincial government and Alberta Health Services guidelines on social distancing. However, by later in the afternoon Alberta’s Chief Medical Officer of Health Dr. Deena Hinshaw stated that golf courses were deemed a “non-essential” service and should remain closed to the public for the time being.
Mayor Chris Spearman wished all residents a Happy Easter, but stressed this was not the time for family gatherings or public church services. He urged Lethbridge residents to stay home with their immediate family members this weekend and to stay healthy.
“The holiday weekend will present an opportunity for you to do your bit, and stay home,” said Spearman. “While you may want to observe your faith and family traditions during this holiday season, I urge everyone to celebrate those traditions with those in your own household.”
Spearman thanked local churches and faith-based groups for offering their religious services online so the public would not have to attend any gatherings where the risk of communal transmission of COVID-19 becomes elevated.
“We cannot be complacent,” he stated. “We cannot assume we are safe. We must make sure we follow the health guidelines to prevent community transmission in the City of Lethbridge and the surrounding areas … If you traditionally celebrate with large family dinners and gatherings, please cancel these events. Please give that a thought. Make sure you are not risking others in our community and those you love in your family.”
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