Tag: closing

City of Edmonton clamping down on mask mandate in recreation facilities, closing 22 arenas to curb spread of COVID-19

The City of Edmonton is clamping down on enforcement of the mandatory mask bylaw and will require masks in all city recreation facilities even if an individual is exempt.

a person holding a sign: A patron enters the Kinsmen Sports Centre, in Edmonton Monday Aug. 10, 2020. Starting Dec. 1, even individuals who are exempt from wearing face coverings will need to don one in the city's recreation centres.

© Provided by Edmonton Journal
A patron enters the Kinsmen Sports Centre, in Edmonton Monday Aug. 10, 2020. Starting Dec. 1, even individuals who are exempt from wearing face coverings will need to don one in the city’s recreation centres.

On Friday, interim city manager Adam Laughlin announced the change, which will take effect Dec. 1 in an effort to curb the spread of COVID-19 as cases spike in the Edmonton region. The city has previously advised businesses to make accommodations for those exempt from wearing a face covering by allowing them in or providing curb-side pickup.


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But Laughlin said further restrictions are required with the growing number of cases. Masks can be removed when exercising or swimming inside the facilities but must be worn at all other times.

There are currently 6,614 active cases of COVID-19 in the Edmonton Zone.

“We’ve reached the tipping point where the rate of the spread of the virus could grow and cause even more devastating to our health and safety of our residents and our economy,” he said. “The priority right now is shutting down the spread of transmission and protecting our health system.”

The city’s five recreation facilities will remain open for individual exercise and swimming, but Laughlin said 22 arenas will be closing between Dec. 1-18. These arenas weren’t open to the public, but available for bookings by leagues or community organizations. Only the Downtown Community Arena will remain open as part of the World Junior Hockey Championships to be hosted at Rogers Place.

Three city-run senior centres and the St. Francis Xavier Sports Centre will also close and all indoor events and group activities at city facilities will be cancelled, Laughlin said.

Two popular holiday attractions will also look a little different this year. Zoominescence at the Edmonton Valley Zoo will continue but all guests must wear a mask and book timed-entry tickets in advance. Crestwood’s popular Candy Cane Lane will be drive-through only, with sleigh rides and food trucks cancelled this year.

Laughlin cautioned Edmontonians that if there isn’t a reduction in virus transmission by Dec. 15 an expansion or enhancement of restrictions may be required through the holidays. This could include the city taking its own action by ordering the closure of restaurants or businesses.

He also asked residents to avoid non-essential travel as much as possible and shop locally within their neighbourhoods.

Council’s emergency advisory committee is next scheduled to meet on Dec. 10.

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Ann Arbor closing city hall, indoor recreation facilities amid surge in COVID-19 cases

ANN ARBOR, MI — In response to the surge in COVID-19 cases and the state’s new emergency order temporarily shuttering certain workplaces, Ann Arbor is closing city hall again and making changes to city operations.

“We are planning to close city hall to the public starting Wednesday for the duration of the three-week period or pause,” City Administrator Tom Crawford said. “During that time, we will continue our services online, by mail and by phone.”

Residents will be able to access pretty much all the city services they need in those ways, Crawford said Monday night, Nov. 16, announcing the changes to City Council.

“We’re also closing all of our indoor recreation facilities,” he said.

Essential city services will continue, Crawford said.

“You know, the police, fire, water, storm, refuse collection — all of that will continue,” he said.

All the latest on the coronavirus in Michigan: Tuesday, Nov. 17

With COVID-19 cases surging, the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services issued the new emergency order Sunday. It’s described as a three-week pause to save lives, targeting indoor gatherings.

“Right now, there are thousands of cases a day and hundreds of deaths a week in Michigan, and the number is growing,” Gov. Gretchen Whitmer said in a statement. “If we don’t act now, thousands more will die, and our hospitals will continue to be overwhelmed. We can get through this together by listening to health experts once again and taking action right now to slow the spread of this deadly virus.”

Workplaces, when work can be done from home, are not to be open while the order is in effect.

Michigan lists 260 new coronavirus outbreaks and 723 ongoing clusters in Nov. 16 report

“Our employees are moving to mandated telecommuting service if they’re able to for their job,” Crawford said. “Obviously we have a number of employees who that doesn’t apply to, but if they can, they will be.”

City staff will continue to support the city’s boards and commissions, which have been meeting virtually, but some of the work they request “may be delayed a bit as we go through this time of stretched capabilities,” Crawford said.

City hall was closed to the public for nearly three months after the coronavirus pandemic hit in March. It reopened in June with new mask requirements and other safety protocols.

Officials issue open letter after significant rise of COVID-19 cases in Washtenaw County

As of 11 a.m. Monday, there were 140 more confirmed COVID-19 cases among county residents in the last 24 hours, the Washtenaw County Health Department reported.

There also were 1,237 cases locally, including three deaths, during a two-week period from Oct. 29 to Nov. 11, according to the department. The number of confirmed and probable cases among county residents is now up to 7,859, including 560 hospitalizations and 128 deaths.

COVID-19 case trends in Washtenaw County

COVID-19 case trends in Washtenaw County.Washtenaw County Health Department


University of Michigan, Michigan State accelerate plans for online learning due

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After 40 years, Wheels Family Fun Park closing, could become a recreation center for East Durham :: WRAL.com

Wheels Family Fun Park in Durham is being sold after 40 years.

Wheels Fun Park is a Durham institution that has been providing family fun for decades, offering go-karts, mini golf, a skating rink and more.

But now the Durham icon is for sale.

After 40 years, the Wheels owner said it’s time for her to retire.

However, that doesn’t mean the fun park will stop bringing entertainment to the Durham community. In fact, Wheels might become a recreation center for underserved members of the surrounding community.

Even better, the new source of activities and fun for the community’s kids could help combat crime in East Durham, which is considered a high crime area.

Throwback: The original Wheels on Latta Road in the 1980s. (Courtesy of Wheels Family Fun Park)

The owner of Wheels approached the City of Durham about purchasing the facility and 8 acres of surrounding land.

During work session earlier this week, Durham City Council added the possibility of purchasing Wheels Fun Park to their agenda.

“The city has been interested in the Wheels site for recreation,” said Tom Dawson, Asst. Director of Durham Parks & Recreation.

“This site could fit some of Durham’s fondest wishes,” he said, “It’s a great opportunity to serve the people of East Durham.

Dawson said a final decision will be made by city council on November 16.

If chosen, the site will be used partially for an aquatics facility, which was recommended for East Durham in the Aquatics Masterplan.

Once the city obtains the site, they plan to hire a consultant to help with the design and lead a community engagement process to help plan how to better fit the facility into the Park system.

As part of this ‘community plan,’ they will be asking for the public’s ideas and suggestions.

“That will help answer our questions about what to keep, improve or change,” said Dawson.

This would also include a discussion about whether or not to keep the roller rink. Dawson said he suspects there will be a lot of interest in keeping it. Plus, Durham Parks & Rec already uses it for their My Durham Teens program and School Age Care programs.

“Don’t give away those skates yet,” said Dawson.

Many residents have years of fond memories attached to Wheels. One East Durham resident shared their own excitement and ideas for the project, saying, “I am looking forward to the change and growth in the area. I want them to keep the skating rink and race cars, and also more food variety.”

“I think everybody knows Wheels and has a lot of emotional connections. I think it’s a very good passing of the torch from private recreation folks to the public recreation folks,” said Dawson.

The owner of Wheels said it’s been a pleasure to serve so many generations of Durham’s community.

“We’re going to miss everybody!” she said.

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An Iconic New York Hotel Is Closing Its Doors: What It Means for Real Estate Investors

It’s no secret that hotels have been struggling since the start of the coronavirus outbreak. Travel restrictions and safety concerns have led to unprecedented vacancies, and while some hotels may have enough cash reserves to sustain themselves through an extended downturn, others may have no choice but to permanently close their doors.

Such is the case for New York City’s famed Roosevelt Hotel, which has become yet another casualty of the pandemic. The iconic hotel, which has been around since 1924, announced in October that it will be shutting down at some point this year. And that’s a harsh blow for New York City hotels in particular.

A sobering turn of events

The Roosevelt hotel, located minutes from New York City’s famed Times Square and Grand Central Terminal, has been a huge part of the city’s history. In fact, it served as the election headquarters for Gov. Thomas Dewey when he incorrectly announced his victory over Harry Truman in the 1948 presidential election. The hotel has also served as a movie backdrop for films such as The Irishman.

Now, the Roosevelt Hotel will be closing its doors due to low demand related to the coronavirus crisis. Of course, it’s not the only hotel that’s taken a hit. The pandemic has decimated the hospitality industry, causing widespread layoffs for hotel staff as occupancy rates have plunged to record lows. In fact, the U.S. leisure and hospitality industry lost 7.5 million jobs in April, reports the Bureau of Labor Statistics, and since then, only about half of those jobs have been brought back.

But losing the Roosevelt Hotel is an especially harsh blow for New York City, which is deep in the throes of a vacancy crisis. Manhattan landlords are growing so desperate they’re giving away free rent, while commercial landlords are facing vacancies and untold financial hardships.

Local hotels are feeling the pain, too. In September, Hilton (NYSE: HLT) announced that it would close its 478-room hotel in Times Square.

Of course, travel has been halted globally since the start of the pandemic, but New York City, which thrives on tourism, has become a virtual ghost town in the wake of COVID-19. Not only have city residents already staged a mass exodus, but tourism has declined substantially, fueled in part by quarantine restrictions and the long-term closure of Broadway. It’s therefore not surprising to see a famed New York City hotel like the Roosevelt shut down, but that doesn’t ease the sting for investors who may be worried that their hotels will be the pandemic’s next victims.

Though New York City started out as the epicenter of the coronavirus outbreak, its numbers have improved dramatically since last spring. Still, with cases beginning to surge again both locally and nationwide, it’s fair to say that tourism in the city won’t be picking up for quite some time, and that could leave hotel investors in quite the unfavorable spot. In fact, hotel operators may already be bracing for a very lean holiday

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Chequamegon-Nicolet National Forest closing recreation, camping sites



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The Chequamegon-Nicolet National Forest, which covers more than 1.5 million acres in northern Wisconsin, announced Thursday it was delaying the opening of all recreation sites and campgrounds until further notice.

The move came after Wisconsin Gov. Tony Evers directed the Department of Natural Resources to close 40 state parks and recreation sites, mostly in southern Wisconsin. All state park campgrounds had been closed in March. The state is under a safer-at-home order, which allows for only essential travel. 

The CNNF and forest roads remain open for hiking, biking and scenic drives — for people who live in the area — but the following areas are closed until further notice: 

  • Developed campgrounds (any existing reservations for May will be cancelled and will receive refunds) 
  • Dispersed or backcountry camping 
  • Trails (motorized and non-motorized designated trails)
  • Day use areas, including trailheads, picnic areas, boat landings, beaches and the Mountain Fire Lookout Tower
  • Lost Lake Cabins, Northern Great Lakes Visitor Center and Forest Lodge
  • All restroom facilities

Forest service staff had already closed bathroom facilities and removed trash receptacles at recreation sites last week. 

Live Updates: The latest on coronavirus in Wisconsin

Daily Digest: What you need to know about coronavirus in Wisconsin

The forest service said they will continue to monitor the situation and will reopen sites on a case-by-case basis. 

“Personal responsibility is now more important than ever. Let’s all do our part to ensure we are keeping ourselves, our families and our communities safe by being prepared and recreating responsibly,” Paul Strong, forest supervisor on the Chequamegon-Nicolet National Forest, said in a release.

The forest service reminded people to follow social distance and personal hygiene guidelines if they visit the forest, as well as leave-no-trace principles which include carrying out all trash and planning to use the restroom before or after visiting. 

Contact Chelsey Lewis at [email protected] Follow her on Twitter at @chelseylew and @TravelMJS and Facebook at Journal Sentinel Travel.

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