COVID-19: City closing facilities, suspending programming as of Wednesday

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The City of Yellowknife is shutting down six of its facilities and suspending visitor centre services out of City Hall as of March 18.

The decision came on Monday as a method to prepare for the potential spread of COVID-19, states a news release.

The city provided a statement that several facilities will close, effective Wednesday, including the Fieldhouse, Multiplex, Ruth Inch Memorial Pool, Yellowknife Community Arena, Curling Club, and Yellowknife Public Library.

Also suspended are events and programs run by the city as well as the Yellowknife Visitor Centre as of Tuesday. A special page on the city website has been created to keep residents informed.

Residents are being told to use the City’s Virtual Hall and eServices options to make payments.

People needing library books are being asked to use their library cards to access the Yellowknife Public Library and Lynda Library resources.

City mayor Rebecca Alty provided a statement in the news release and recommended residents take public health precautions to avoid spreading COVID-19.

“The City has made some tough decisions in response to COVID-19 and all actions have been taken with the safety of residents as our top priority,” said Mayor Rebecca Alty. “We encourage residents to take care of themselves and others by washing hands thoroughly, staying home if ill, helping neighbours in need, and social distancing where possible.”

Questions were sent to city communications including whether the city has an option of declaring a local emergency similar to Calgary if needed, how the city will ensure operations continue with garbage pickup and buses and transit and if city staff are being asked to stay home, similar to the GNWT. The city was also asked if future public meetings will be suspended.

These questions were not answered as of Tuesday evening.

 

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