By Tim Kalinowski on December 10, 2020.
Due to new provincial COVID-19 public health restrictions brought in on Tuesday the City of Lethbridge will be temporarily closing several public facilities on Sunday, and they will remain closed until at least Jan. 12.
The City announced it will be closing Stan Siwik Pool, Nicholas Sheran Pool, the Cor Van Raay YMCA, all arenas including the ATB Centre, the Helen Schuler Nature Centre, Casa, the Multicultural Centre, the Galt Museum, the Lethbridge Library at both Crossings and Downtown, the Southern Alberta Art Gallery, and the Enmax Centre.
The public areas of city hall will remain open for now, but with limited services available in person.
Mayor Chris Spearman thanked City employees for their efforts in helping to fight COVID-19 in the community, but acknowledged the province’s mandatory closure of several different types of local businesses would have a massive impact on community members during the Christmas season.
“The economic impact of the public health measures will be widespread and significant,” he stated on Wednesday. “We understand the hardships and stress this has put on everyone. It is essential we find ways to support local businesses. Many businesses rely on this time of year for their livelihood; so I would encourage all Lethbridge residents to find ways to support local businesses. Use the takeout or delivery options from local restaurants, find curbside pickup options from local retailers, and provide positive reviews on social media.”
Spearman also acknowledged the impact of new provincial restrictions on gatherings in the community.
“We know Christmas will not be the same this year,” he said.
“We encourage families who can’t be together physically to come up with shared activities that can be done virtually. Please try to make the best of the situation.”
Spearman said expected temporary job losses from the closures of local businesses also comes at the worst time for many.
“I think there are going to be some serious social impacts,” he said. “People are struggling. Christmas is little more than two weeks away and people are already feeling the pinch financially.”
He encouraged those who have the means to help out wherever they can to make sure local families and residents have the essential supports they need this Christmas, and for all residents to be safe, kind and patient this holiday season.
“I would encourage those who can, to donate and support those social organizations like the food banks, those who are gathering gifts for children,” Spearman said. “We certainly had some heartfelt letters from individuals and families coming in saying Christmas won’t be the same for them this year. There will be kids going without gifts, and the challenge will be putting food on the table.”
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