Until further notice, the District of Sparwood is closing the doors of the Henry Volkmann Memorial Leisure Complex and suspending all activities.

The pool, curling rink, arena, fitness centre are all closed to the public as a result, and all classes and swimming lessons have been suspended. Any special events at the Leisure Centre are also cancelled, such as Community Information and Registration Night.

“We have a lot of people that use that facility on a daily basis,” Mayor David Wilks told MyEastKootenayNow.com. “We have a lot of out-of-towners, especially those employees from Teck that don’t live here but work here and as this pandemic seems to be growing day-by-day, it certainly at some point in time will affect this valley and we will do our utmost to ensure that our people within our community can stay as safe as they can under our means.”

The motion was made by District of Sparwood Council at a Special Meeting on Sunday, March 15th. Wilks said they will look at the closure of the facility again on April 7th, unless the B.C Government or Canadian Government directs them differently.

Further: Sparwood Mayor Calls for Calm While Volunteers Sought to Help Health Care Centre (March 16, 2020)

“The District of Sparwood is committed to doing our part to help minimize the spread of COVID-19 and as always, place the health, safety and wellbeing of employees and the public as our highest consideration,” added the District of Sparwood in their statement.

Any pre-scheduled classes and bookings will be able to receive refunds, although the District is asking the public to remain patient as they try to process those refunds.

“In situations where refunds are not able to be processed electronically or over the phone, we will issue refunds upon re-opening of the facility.”

At this time, the District of Sparwood’s Public Works Office and Main Office are operating as normal, although the municipality is asking that any travellers from out of country refrain from entering the facilities. That also includes anyone with symptoms of cough, fever or shortness of breath, or those in contact with people experiencing symptoms.

“Mayor and Council understand the seriousness of this decision,” said Wilks. “The safety of our employees is paramount. We will continue to monitor this unprecedented virus and will make every effort to reopen the Leisure Complex as soon as possible.”

The District of Sparwood provided the following resources to the public for more information on the COVID-19 outbreak:

The Government of Canada – Public Health
British Columbia Health Link