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DARRYL KNIGHT The Standard
UXBRIDGE: Several township facilities will remain closed for the next three weeks in a social distancing effort to curb the spread of COVID-19 infections. At a special meeting on Friday, March 13th, councillors approved the temporary closure of the Uxbridge Arena, the Music Hall, the Seniors Centre, Uxpool, and all community halls for three weeks beginning on Monday, March 15th. “As a response to the World Health Organization declaring COVID-19 a pandemic and what has taken place provincially over the last 24 hours, particularly with respect to the schools, my staff met this morning to make decisions with regards to our facilities and operations and contingency planning,” explained Uxbridge CAO Kristi Honey. She added the decisions of the municipality were made hoping to reduce demand on health-care services by flattening the curve of new infections. “The advice we received from public health and our local medical professionals is that the best thing we can do is flatten that curve; putting a huge strain on public health is the biggest concern, so the best way to reduce the spread is through social isolation,” she added. “That’s what we’re essentially working toward, is flattening that curve and reducing any spike in new cases.” As part of the measure, all scheduled programming, including March break and recreation programs, third-party rentals and lessons are cancelled, at all facilities. “The library is looking at a modified closure so people can still get books out, but won’t actually have access to the building,” director of community services and interim library chief administrative officer, Amanda Ferraro explained. “This was a really difficult decision, and we bounced back and forth between the pros and cons. In the end, I think everyone just wants to slow this virus down and we need to take a step back and say ‘is it really that important that you get on the ice or in the pool over the next three weeks when we have a real opportunity to slow this virus down and protect our residents and our seniors?’” However, all outdoor facilities, including the Uxbridge Skate Park and the Pump Park, and community parks are currently scheduled to remain open. The township is encouraging residents to check the township website for updates on the local impact of COVID-19 at www.uxbridge.ca, and on Twitter or Facebook.