Coronavirus: City of London closing all city-operated facilities due to COVID-19

The City of London has announced that it’s cancelling all city-operated programs and closing the facilities where those programs are run due to COVID-19.

Effective Monday, March 16, all facilities and programs at community centres, arenas, pools, recreation and sports programming, and community rentals will be closed until further notice.

The decision will impact all March break day camps the city had planned for children aged 5 to 12 from Monday, March 16, to Friday, the Mach 20.

​On Saturday, the city released a statement that said, “We realize the difficulty this will cause for many people in our community. We are in an extraordinary time when each of us has a responsibility to do as much as we can to slow the spread of COVID-19.”

The statement went on to say that those directly impacted will get more details over the next few days.

Dr. David Williams, Ontario Chief Medical Officer of Health The Chief Medical Officer of Health, recommends suspending all large events and public gatherings of over 250 people.

In addition to the closures and cancellations, the city will also be restricting all non-essential visitors to Dearness Home and implementing screening protocols to protect the residents who are particularly vulnerable to COVID-19.

This decision comes two days after the province of Ontario announced on Thursday that all publicly funded schools would be closed for two weeks following March break until April 5.

“Since we first learned of COVID-19 as an emerging public health issue, Ontario has been diligently monitoring the developing situation to protect the health and well-being of all Ontarians,” a joint statement from Premier Doug Ford, Health Minister Christine Elliott and Education Minister Stephen Lecce said Thursday afternoon.

On Saturday morning, the province announced 22 new confirmed positive cases of COVID-19, bringing Ontario’s total to 101.

Ontario’s 92nd case was reported to the ministry by the Middlesex-London Health Unit (MLHU), according to the province, and is a woman in her 50s.

London’s first case was reported back in January and involved a woman who had returned from Wuhan, China. Health officials say the women self-isolated and has since been cleared of the illness.

Concerned about COVID-19? Here are some things you need to know:

Health officials say the risk is very low for Canadians.

Symptoms can include fever, cough and difficulty breathing – very similar to a cold or flu. Some people can develop a more severe illness. People most at risk of this include older adults and people with severe chronic medical conditions like heart, lung or kidney disease.

To prevent the virus from spreading, experts recommend frequent handwashing and coughing into your sleeve. And if you get sick, stay at home.

For full COVID-19 coverage from Global News, click here.

With Files from Andrew Graham, Global News

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