Pitt Meadows Mayor Bill Dingwall. (THE NEWS/files)

Maple Ridge closes doors on public buildings in COVID-19 combat

Metro Vancouver cities shut down rec facilities for health reasons

Maple Ridge has followed other cities in Metro Vancouver and has closed its public buildings to combat the COVID-19 pandemic.

The closures include the Maple Ridge Leisure Centre, Greg Moore Youth Centre, Planet Ice, and special events. However, sprink break camps will continue under health guidelines while city hall will remain open, also with health protocols in place.

Maple Ridge’s decision to close facilities came after the B.C. Centre for Disease Control announced Monday that gatherings can’t exceed 50 people, the city said in a news release, Tuesday.

The Maple Ridge Public Library closed Monday as part of the Fraser Valley Regional Library shutdown.

Pitt Meadows announced on Monday it was shutting down its public buildings.

Those include city hall, the Pitt Meadows library, Pitt Meadows Heritage Hall, Pitt Meadows Art Gallery, Pitt Meadows Family Recreation Centre, Pitt Meadows Arena, Pitt Meadows Museum and Hoffmann Garage, the South Bonson Community Centre, as well as all sports fields for groups.

READ MORE: B.C. bans gatherings of 50+ people to slow COVID-19 transmission

“After informed consideration this past week and in a special meeting of council and staff earlier today, these closures and cancellations have been made with the best interests, safety and well-being of our residents, the region and our employees,” Mayor Bill Dingwall said in a news release.

Ridge Meadows Seniors Society also announced Tuesday that both its activity centres in Maple Ridge and Pitt Meadows closed at 4 p.m. that day.

However, the kitchen will keep cooking for the Meals on Wheels program and the centre is going to try to set up a back-door lunch program. More information will be coming on that, said society president Don Mitchell in a letter to members. He encouraged those with computer access to keep others up to date.

READ MORE: Pitt Meadows shuts down its rec buildings in COVID-19 fight

Chances Maple Ridge also temporarily suspended operations starting midnight Sunday to contain the spread of COVID-19.

The parent company of the local casino, the Great Canadian Gaming Corporation, made the announcement to temporarily close all operations Sunday evening, which includes the River Rock Casino Resort in Richmond and the Hard Rock Casino Vancouver.

“While there have been no cases of COVID-19 reported at the Great Canadian Gaming Corporation, this measure has been deemed to be in the best interest of the public’s health and ongoing efforts to contain the spread of COVID-19,” the company said in a statement.

The ACT Arts Centre Theatre also announced Tuesday it was closing until further notice, after several events had to be cancelled.

Earth Day 2020 that was to be held on April 18 in Maple Ridge has been cancelled until further notice.

The Maple Ridge Community Foundation has postponed their annual fundraising dinner where they announce the Citizens of the Year to Sept. 19. The nomination deadline has been extended to July 31.

The 22nd annual Rotary Wine Festival that was to take place at the end of April, has been postponed until further notice.

However, the Downtown Maple Ridge Business Improvement Association is still holding their annual Spring Treasure Hunt, although, said executive director Ineke Boekhorst, a couple of busninesses have pulled out. Participants can download a passport or pick up one from a participating business and then find the hidden eggs in busnesses downtown Maple Ridge. Find a hidden egg and then bring it to the front counter to have your passport stamped. Collect at least 25 stamps and drop off the completed passport to any one of the participating businesses to win one of five giant Easter baskets.



pmelnychuk@mapleridgenews.com

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