You may have noticed that our playgrounds and shared spaces have been taped off around the district.
COVID-19 can be transmitted to hard surfaces (such as play equipment) and remain there for a period of time, and this poses a risk to other’s safety. Closing our parks and shared spaces is a tough call to make, but your health and safety is our priority. Please take care and stay safe around common areas.
The Ashburton District Council will close all of its community facilities from 4.00pm today (23 March) until further notice.
The EA Networks Centre, Ashburton Public Library, Art Gallery & Heritage Centre and Ashburton Trust Event Centre will be closed to the public in an effort to help slow the spread of COVID-19. The Council Administration building will remain open as an essential service for customer service enquiries.
Ashburton District Mayor, Neil Brown says in light of increasing COVID-19 cases around the country including two confirmed cases of community transmission in the North Island, the Council has decided to close the centres to help protect residents from potential disease spread.
"The Council has been carefully evaluating community safety in our facilities. Although the centres were well within the Government guidelines to remain open, today's announcement of further COVID-19 cases in New Zealand and the increased alert level has prompted us to take this further measure.
"The Council is continuing to fully support the Government's efforts to fight COVID-19. I urge all residents to play their part as well by uniting against the disease and following the protective measures in place listed on the covid19.govt.nz website."
Mayor Brown adds that the closures will not result in any jobs being lost in the immediate future. "Staff who work in these facilities will be redeployed elsewhere to ensure other essential Council services are well supported during this time and to assist with community-led support activities."
"The Council will continue to assess this rapidly evolving situation and will update residents regularly on any other changes or safety measures," Mayor Brown says.
Information about COVID-19, including steps to reduce transmission, Government announcements and financial support is available at covid19.govt.nz