Playgrounds in Mission have gone quiet after the latest procedures were put in place to help decrease the spread of COVID-19.
As of March 23, all District of Mission playgrounds and all Mission Public Schools playgrounds are closed. The Centennial Park off-leash dog park, as well as the washrooms at the park, are also closed.
Children and parents who might not have heard about the closures arrived to see yellow caution tape wrapped around the outdoor equipment to prevent children from playing on the apparatuses.
While closing playgrounds has not been mandated by the province at this point, Mission’s chief administrative officer Mike Younie said, “during our last conference call, just recently, it was suggested that it would be a reasonable thing to do.’’
He added that BC Hydro also closed its recreational facilities in the area.
In a press release, Hydro stated: “Due to the high concentration of visitors on site and the need to enforce social distancing in response to the COVID-19 outbreak, BC Hydro recreation area facilities are now closed. This includes campsites, boat launches, washrooms, day-use facilities and parking lots.”
Those facilities include services at Hayward Lake and Buntzen Lake.
Shutting down the playgrounds is just the next step in a series of precautionary closures.
Mission had already cancelled all Parks, Recreation and Culture programs that had been previously scheduled at the Mission Leisure Centre or satellite facilities, until May 31. Staff are processing refunds or credit placed on accounts depending on the original method of payment.
All time-duration memberships such as one-, three-, six- and 12-month passes have been placed on hold and will be extended based on the amount of time the facility is closed.
Younie said the last council meeting, which was set for March 16, was cancelled and the next meeting is scheduled for April 6, but it will not have public participation.
“Therefore, it will not include any public hearings or any other reports or activities that require public input,” Younie said.
The meeting will be broadcast online for those interested in watching the proceedings.