COVID-19: Orillia closes skateboard park, off-leash dog parks and basketball courts

Mayor stresses social distancing is crucial to halting spread of the virus

In the hope of curbing the spread of COVID-19, the City of Orillia has closed access to the Kiwanis Skateboard Park at Veterans’ Park, basketball courts and off-leash dog parks at Clayt French and Kitchener parks.

City officials are also encouraging school boards and private owners to close public access to their basketball courts.

In addition, city staff will not begin regular spring park opening procedures, including tennis courts, until it is deemed safe to do so.

Elderly Orillia woman who acquired COVID-19 locally among new cases confirmed by Simcoe Muskoka District Health Unit

“With Orillia having its first community-acquired case of COVID-19 reported, the City continues to look at measures we can put in place to reduce contact with high-touch surfaces and public spaces where it is difficult to practice social/physical distancing,” said Mayor Steve Clarke. “The next few weeks are critical and we must work together to flatten the curve and prevent the spread of this virus.”

Clarke said everyone in Orillia needs to practice social/physical distancing and good hygienic practices at all times to help flatten the curve of the COVID-19 virus.

“Ensuring you make the constant effort to create a safe distance between yourself and others is absolutely necessary. As I’m out in the community, I am seeing far too many who are not taking the proper precautions. This is irresponsible and reckless and we need to ensure we are doing everything we can as a community to slow the spread. This is not a drill for a pandemic; this is a pandemic.”

Clarke encourages everyone to do the following to practice social/physical distancing:

  • Recreational activities – If you visit a park or trail to take a walk or run, you must ensure you maintain a two-metre distance between you and others. Walking and running groups who continue to meet should take extra caution to ensure they are maintaining this distance.
  • Waste collection services – You must keep a two-metre distance from waste collection operators. Remember: All garbage must be bagged and sealed properly. Anything not bagged will be left behind. All green bin organic materials must be placed in a certified compostable bag or liner.
  • Transit Service – Passengers are to board and exit the bus from the rear doors. Passengers with accessibility requirements are permitted to use the front door if necessary. Fares are waived to further encourage social/physical distancing from the bus operator.
  • Essential shopping – If you need to go shopping, you must follow social/physical distancing rules and respect the measures merchants and employees have put in place.
  • Essential services – If you are still working as an essential service – thank you – and you must ensure you are practicing safe social/physical distancing in your workplace.
  • Speak up – Feel empowered to speak up for yourself to maintain social/physical distancing. We are in this together (but two metres apart).