District of Saanich announces program cancellations and recreation centre closures amid COVID-19 pandemic. (Saanich Parks & Recreation/Facebook)

District of Saanich announces program cancellations and recreation centre closures amid COVID-19 pandemic. (Saanich Parks & Recreation/Facebook)

Saanich cancels all programs and drop-in activities until further notice

Essential health services and day camps to operate until March 20

Residents may have to be inventive when it comes to finding activities for their children during spring break as the District of Saanich closed drop-in activities and programs in response to the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic. The Saanich Emergency Operation Centre (EOC) announced on March 16 that Saanich Commonwealth Place, Pearkes, Gordon Head and Cedar Hill recreation centres are closed until further notice and all programs and drop-in activities are cancelled.

ALSO READ: B.C. launches online COVID-19 self-assessment tool

Credits will be issued to those who have already registered for programs and activities, and passes will be suspended. According to the District, program refunds will be placed onto user Active Net accounts, and advises there is no need to call and cancel program registration. For any refund requests, the District will process refunds at a later date.

With the closures of several Saanich recreation centres, the EOC says that the Saanich Neighbourhood Place will use a separate entrance and will remain open until otherwise notified. Cedar Hill Gold Course will also remain open to the public.

All Greater Victoria public library branches are closed until further notice.

Mayor Fred Haynes announced at the March 16 council meeting that all essential services will remain open such as health services and day camps until Friday, March 20. The decision to keep these programs operating was done in line with guidance from the BC Centre for Disease Control and the Medical Health Office, according to the EOC.

The EOC assures that health services will continue to be available for patients who rely on pain and injury management care.

ALSO READ: COVID-19: Ahousaht First Nation closes community to non-residents

Although essential services will remain open, the District stresses that circumstances are changing daily as the province directs the municipality on steps that need to be taken to combat the spread of COVID-19.

Haynes encourages residents during this time to take advantage of Saanich trails and parks to stay healthy and active. “While we know that recreation is a key part of our community, it is important that we all do our part to mitigate the risk of exposure to COVID-19.” he says.

As information and closures are constantly changing, Saanich residents can check for updates online at saanich.ca/COVID-19.

sarah.schuchard@saanichnews.com


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