Recreation facilities in several West Kootenay communities including Nelson and Castlegar are being shut down as a precaution against the COVID-19 outbreak.
The Regional District of Central Kootenay announced Monday evening it was suspending its rec centres for at least four weeks beginning Tuesday.
In Nelson, the Nelson and District Community Complex and Civic Arena will be closed, while Castlegar’s Pioneer Arena, Castlegar and District Community Complex and the Castlegar Seniors Centre are also to shut down.
“The health and safety of our employees and the people we serve is our first priority, and closing our facilities will help prevent the risk and spread of infection,” said the RDCK chief administrative officer Stuart Horn in a statement.
“Further, this will allow us to focus our resources on providing essential services to communities across the region and keeping critical operations running. We thank residents and visitors for their understanding and patience at this time.”
The statement added time-based memberships will be put on hold, and staff are working to process refunds and credits.
Nelson’s Civic Theatre, which also operates in the same building as the Civic Arena, said in a statement it would also close.
“We will continue to evaluate when it will be possible to reopen our doors, based on updated government recommendations,” the theatre said. “Until then, we hope you stay safe, healthy and happy as you watch films from your couch. We’ll keep you all informed of when your community living room will be up and running again.”
Meanwhile, the city-owned Nelson and District Youth Centre said it would offer spring break camps but otherwise be closed.
Other facilities affected include the Riondel Community Centre, North Shore Hall, Salmo and District Fitness Centre and New Denver Fitness Centre, as well as programs run by the Slocan Valley Recreation Department.