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Outdoor rinks to remain open during shutdown

The City of North Bay’s outdoor rinks will remain open during the two-week provincial shutdown, with some slight modifications. 

Gord Young, the city’s communications officer, says washroom facilities at the Lee Park skating rink will not be open during the shutdown. He adds maintenance staff will also be keeping an eye on the number of people using the rinks. 

“If they become overcrowded or it becomes an issue, we’ll work with public health and have to decide if they remain open or not,” Young said. 

Last weekend, the city opened outdoor rinks at Graniteville Playground, Greenhill Playground, Kinette Playground, West Ferris Lions Park and Lee Park.

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Public health protocols such as physical distancing are still encouraged for users of the rinks. 

The Ontario government’s shutdown guidelines allow for outdoor recreation to remain open. This includes skating rinks, cross country skiing, snowmobiling and tobogganing.

Other changes coming to city operations during the shutdown include:

  • City Hall will be closed to in-person services. Appointments will be required for in-person transactions and COVID-19 screening will be required. Residents are encouraged to access the drop box outside City Hall or access municipal services online where available at
  • The Provincial Offences Administration Office will be closed for in-person services. 
  • The closure of all municipal arenas.
  • Transit will continue to operate under a modified schedule with mandatory face coverings and a passenger limit of 25.

The provincial government states the objective of the lockdown is to help stop the trend of high COVID-19 transmission in communities, preserve health system capacity, safeguard vulnerable populations and those who care for them and save lives. According to the province, measures include, but are not limited to:

  • Restricting indoor organized public events and social gatherings, except with members of the same household (the people you live with). Individuals who live alone may consider having exclusive close contact with one other household.
  • Prohibiting in-person shopping in most retail settings – curbside pickup and delivery can continue. Discount and big-box retailers selling groceries will be limited to 25 per cent capacity for in-store shopping. Supermarkets, grocery stores and similar stores that primarily sell food, as well as pharmacies, will continue to operate at 50 per cent capacity for in-store shopping.
  • Restricting indoor access to shopping malls – patrons may only go to a designated indoor pickup area (by appointment only), essential retail stores that are permitted to be open (e.g. pharmacy, grocery store), or, subject to physical distancing and face-covering requirements, to the food court for takeout purchases. Shopping malls may also establish outdoor designated pickup areas.
  • Prohibiting indoor and outdoor dining. Restaurants, bars and other food or drink establishments will be permitted to operate by take out, drive-through, and delivery only.
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