The Regional District of Central Kootenay (RDCK) today announced that it is extending the closure of recreation facilities and services until the provincial government advises that they can open again. RDCK recreation facilities were closed on Monday, March 16.
The provincial orders made to stop the spread of COVID-19 include the closure of fitness centres and other establishments, and restrictions on public gatherings, closure of services and businesses, and mandatory physical distancing.
“Once the authorities make an announcement lifting the restrictions, we need two weeks to recall employees, conduct safety training, restart the mechanical systems, and prepare the pool and other areas for public use,” said Joe Chirico, General Manager of Community Services. “At this time, we don’t know when or how the restrictions will change, so we will continue to evaluate the impacts on our services and make decisions that help protect the health and safety of the public and our staff.”
As a consequence of the closure, approximately 200 staff have been laid off until facilities can open again. The RDCK is working with those staff to connect them with resources made available by the federal government.
“This is an unfortunate impact of the COVID-19 crisis, but we are working with staff to ensure they can access income supports and employment insurance that may be available to them,” said Mr. Chirico. “We value our employees, and will do all we can to make sure they have the support they need.”
Mr. Chirico continued, “We know this is disappointing news, because so many people enjoy our facilities and programs, and our staff take pride in delivering safe, fun, and accessible programs. It’s important that we follow direction from the provincial authorities, and do everything we can to stop the spread of COVID-19. We look forward to getting back to normal programming when it is safe to do so.”
Further updates about the impacts of COVID-19 will be shared as needed, and will be also posted on our website here: https://rdck.ca/EN/main/services/emergency-management/covid-19-updates.html
For more resources relating to COVID-19, please visit the BC Centre for Disease Control website: http://www.bccdc.ca/health-info/diseases-conditions/covid-19
Incorporated in 1965, the Regional District of Central Kootenay (RDCK) is a local government that serves 60,000 residents in 11 electoral areas and nine member municipalities. The RDCK provides more than 160 services, including community facilities, fire protection and emergency services, grants, planning and land use, regional parks, resource recovery and handling, transit, water services and much more. For more information about the RDCK, visit www.rdck.ca.