City of Barrie cancels March break camps, alters recreation programming amid coronavirus concerns

The City of Barrie is cancelling all March break camps and making changes to its recreation programming amid concerns over the novel coronavirus.

The announcement comes one day after the first confirmed case of COVID-19 was announced in Barrie, which coincided with the largest single-day spike in cases Ontario has seen so far.

The local case of COVID-19 is in a man in his 40s who recently travelled to Germany and Spain. He was tested at the Royal Victoria Regional Health Centre on Monday.

Out of caution, Barrie officials say they’re making several changes to city programming, which will go into effect as of 4 p.m. Friday. The local announcement also comes one day after the Ontario government ordered all publicly funded schools to close for two weeks after March break.

With City of Barrie March break programs and camps getting cancelled, officials say anyone who registered for them will receive a full refund.

Preschool, child care programs, the Parkview Centre for 55+ and the Allandale Centre for 55+ are cancelled until further notice.

At the Allandale, East Bayfield and Holly community centres, all rental permits will be honoured. Organizations can decide whether to move forward with cancellations or restrictions. If any choose to cancel, they will be given a full refund.

Adult registered programs are also running at the Allandale, East Bayfield and Holly community centres, but if people wish to withdraw, they will receive a prorated refund and not be charged the administrative fee. Registered programs for kids 18 and under are cancelled at all three centres.

Fitness centres and drop-ins will remain open at the Allandale, East Bayfield and Holly community centres. Memberships can be cancelled with no administrative fee charges. Gyms and pools remain open for scheduled permits, but anyone who cancels will receive a full refund.

All venue rentals at the Sadlon Arena and all theatre rentals will be honoured. Anyone who wants to cancel will receive a full refund.

Barrie officials say the city has “business continuity plans” in place to ensure that essential services will be delivered.

Officials say they’re making sure they are increasing sanitizing practices on all common touchpoints and public places at all City of Barrie facilities and on Barrie Transit buses.

There’s also been a rise in public education focused on handwashing and cough etiquette in high-traffic locations within the city, officials add.

As of late Friday morning, there are 74 confirmed positive cases of COVID-19 in Ontario.

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