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COVID-19: Easter weekend distancing, streets remain open, leisure program updates

For immediate release: April 9, 2020 - 5:12pm
FI20-1171

An Important Easter Reminder

Our ability to get back to normal relies on everyone doing their part. This will call for us all to work together to stay apart over Easter. Celebrate in a different way this year — instead of inviting family and friends over for dinner, consider hosting a virtual gathering using digital technology. Reach out to people who might be having a hard time or need extra assistance. Practice physical distancing if you need to go out for essentials or while getting some fresh air in the many beautiful parks and trails. Please stay safe and healthy this Easter, Saskatoon.​

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We are constantly reassessing developments to ensure the safety and well-being of staff and citizens and how the City delivers public services during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Public streets, sidewalks, and pathways and push buttons

The City is working alongside transportation professionals in other Cities on identifying, implementing, and evaluating different mitigation measures on public streets, sidewalks, and pathways.

On April 14, the City will begin making adjustments to 59 of the higher usage pedestrian crossing intersections. These specific pedestrian crossing signals will work without the need to push the activation buttons. When the adjustments have been completed, signage will be installed reminding people to not touch the buttons. It is not feasible to remove the push buttons because they are needed for people with visual impairments who rely on the audible pedestrian system which is activated through the push buttons.

There has been discussion in the community about closing streets or bridges to provide more space for physical distancing. The City is not in a position to close any streets — especially any along the river. The Governments of Canada and Saskatchewan recommend we stay at home as much as possible, but if we go out, spread out! The City has an extensive network of streets, pathways and trails that remain open. Street closures have actually had an opposite effect as happened in New York City, attracting large crowds until this was stopped.

Update to Leisure Programs and Services

Program and Service Refunds: The City is currently processing a large number of leisure program and booking cancellations. Customers can expect an automatic cancellation receipt sent to their email over the next two weeks. This receipt will trigger the refund process in the City’s financial system. Please be patient as refunds may take longer than normal due to high volumes of activity for both the City and credit card companies.

LeisureCards – Fully Paid

  • Fully paid LeisureCard holders affected by Leisure Centre closures will be granted an extension. Current LeisureCard expiry dates will be extended by the amount of time that the Leisure Centres are closed. This extension will be added to customers’ LeisureCards when Leisure Centres re-open.

LeisureCards – Monthly Installment Plans

  • For customers using the installment payment plan, monthly payments have been suspended. Any payments processed in March will be credited to the customer’s account. Current 12-month LeisureCards on the installment payment plan will be eligible for the Perk Program when Leisure Centres re-open.

Pick Your Perk & Referral Programs

  • The Pick Your Perk and Referral Programs are suspended until further notice. Current 12-month LeisureCards paid on the installment payment plan will remain eligible for the Perk Program when Leisure Centres re-open.

Winter 2020 Registered Programs

  • March registered programs impacted by Leisure Centre closures will receive a pro-rated refund. Refunds will be issued as credits on registrants’ account for future use.

Spring/Summer 2020 Registered Programs

  • All spring and summer registered programs are cancelled to the end of August. Registrants will receive a full refund.
  • Program offerings will be re-coordinated once a date for Leisure Centre re-opening is determined. Future information will be provided as it becomes available.

Third-Party Rentals

  • All third-party rentals at indoor Leisure Centres, arenas, sport fields, outdoor special event spaces and Nutrien Playland at Kinsmen Park booked between now and June 30, 2020 have been cancelled. A credit will be placed on customers’ accounts, if applicable.

Swim Lesson Report Cards

  • Due to the abrupt closure of the Leisure Centres, Winter Swim Lesson results will not be known until Leisure Centres re-open. Report cards will be mailed to the participant’s on file address within one month of re-opening.

Water Outages

  • Due to the temporary closure of Leisure Centres, showering facilities are not currently available for residents affected by an unexpected water outage, which normally applies during a Drinking Water Advisory.