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City closing leisure facilities, some libraries in response to COVID-19

For immediate release: March 15, 2020 - 4:15pm
FI20-1106

As the City of Saskatoon continues to keep up to date on the COVID-19 pandemic, City leaders have made the decision to close leisure facilities effective Monday, March 16.

“This was a difficult decision to make,” says Pamela Goulden-McLeod, Director of the Emergency Management Organization. “We want to remind everyone there is no evidence of community transmission.”

“We want to make sure we can maintain essential services and one of the ways we can do this is to limit non-essential contacts in the community, including for our staff,” Goulden-McLeod says.

Affected leisure facilities and co-located libraries

Until further notice, the following leisure facilities will close tomorrow:

•    Leisure Centres

o    Cosmo Civic Centre (and Caryle King Public Library)

o    Harry Bailey Aquatic Centre

o    Lakewood Civic Centre (Cliff Wright Public Library)

o    Lawson Civic Centre (Rusty MacDonald Public Library)

o    Saskatoon Field House

o    Shaw Centre

•    Indoor Rinks

o    ACT Arena

o    Archibald Arena

o    Cosmo Arena

o    Gordie Howe Kinsmen Arena

o    Lions Arena

•    Outdoor Rink Buildings (Warm-up Shacks)
•    Golf Courses (for pre-season sales)

o    Holiday Park Golf Course

o    Silverwood Golf Course

o    Wildwood Golf Course

•    Saskatoon Forestry Farm Park & Zoo

In collaboration with the Saskatchewan Health Authority, we are actively monitoring the situation and will continue to evaluate when the facilities may reopen.

The City will be determining how to compensate all those affected by leisure facility closures and those details will be provided soon.

If outside organizations have identified these facilities for evacuation centres they will no longer be available until further notice.

City proceeds with Spring/Summer 2020 program registration

Program registration for Spring/Summer 2020 (April 1 to August 31, 2020) will continue as planned. Registration begins tonight, Sunday, March 15, 2020 at 6:00 p.m. by calling 306-975-2800 or by logging into leisureonline.saskatoon.ca. Walk-in registrations will not take place at the Leisure Centres due to facility closures.

Communicating with City staff

Saskatoon EMO has also helped coordinate internal messages for City employees who may have questions about how the pandemic response may change their workplace.

Online self-assessment

The City is also making available the Health Ministry's tool to guide citizens on how to continue with daily life and whether they need to be tested for COVID-19.

Goulden-McLeod says people should continue with their daily routines, but they should pay attention to personal hygiene and appropriate social distancing.

On this point, City Manager Jeff Jorgenson, who is out of the country on vacation, will lead by example and self-isolate for 14 days when he returns.  While he has no symptoms, he will follow the recommendations of the Chief Medical Health Officer as he does not want to jeopardize the health of City staff or the public.

Four new presumptive positive cases of COVID-19 have been identified in Saskatchewan, bringing the total number of cases in the province to six.  None of the new cases is in Saskatoon. 

The provincial health ministry encourages everyone to be mindful of good hand hygiene, cough etiquette and social distancing. For those who have risk factors such as old age, or underlying health issues, medical experts encourage those people to stay away from crowded areas.

Updates will continue to be provided at saskatoon.ca/covid-19