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DRS closes indoor facilities due to pandemic

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Dauphin Recreation Services (DRS) has followed suit with many other organizations in shutting its facilities in light of the coronavirus pandemic.
As of 4 p.m., Friday afternoon, all DRS indoor facilities will be closed for a two-week period at which point things will be reevaluated.
Ice in Credit Union Place, the Rotary Arena and Parkland Recreation Complex curling rink has been removed, ending the hockey and curling seasons.
Closed are the Kinsmen Aquatic Centre, Credit Union Place and the walking track, Aspen Lodge and Strilkiwski Lounge, Rotary Arena, the curling rink and all common areas of the Parkland Recreation Complex.
DRS general manager Ryan Vanderheyden said it was a hard decision to make.
“You want to take everything into consideration, but to make a safe decision for the whole community. We have a couple of events that would bring some people from other communities and we can’t be too sure where everybody has been,” he said.
“So the decision to close the facilities is in line with what is recommended from health professionals and what the province is saying. So we feel like it is the right decision and that, in the end, it was actually an easy decision to make when taking all that into consideration.”
Because of the fluidity of the situation, Vanderheyden said everything will be reevaluated on a day-to-day basis, even though the facilities will be closed for the two-week period.
“We’ll be monitoring the situation and seeing if we need to extend that. If you’ve noticed in the last few days, there’s been a lot of movement that’s been made on this. So we’ll be monitoring that and going from there,” he said.
“It is the end of our ice season, so we would be going into a little bit of a slow season coming up here, too. So it will affect the end of, obviously, some of the hockey seasons. Minor hockey, the MJHL, WHL all decided to stop operations. So that was an easy decision that way. We were just following in their suit for the rink side of it.”
Patrons who have purchased passes for the walking track or the pool will have the time added on to their passes.
“We took that into consideration. We’ll look at all the people that are effected by passes for the pool and the walking track and we’ll extended it onto that,” Vanderheyden said.
Things will go on as usually for DRS staff, Vanderheyden said.
“We will get them to clean the facilities, especially the hockey rinks, because there have been some cases throughout other hockey worlds. Maybe not in Manitoba with some of these cases,” he said.
“So we’ll take some time to clean our facilities and those people will continue working, coming in on shifts as is. We might adjust it, because we are a shift work, so we might adjust the shifts a bit. But we don’t see any differences as of next week anyway. And we’ll meet next week to discuss that, as well.”

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Doug Zywina
REPORTER
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