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Coronavirus: City of Edmonton issues more than 300 warnings after dog parks and playgrounds closed

Effective March 24, 2020, all playgrounds in Edmonton are closed.
Effective March 24, 2020, all playgrounds in Edmonton are closed. Vinesh Pratap, Global News

More than 300 warnings were issued over the last week to people at dog parks and using playground equipment amid the ongoing novel coronavirus outbreak, the City of Edmonton said on Monday.

Playgrounds were closed across the city on March 24 and it was ordered all dogs must be on leash at off-leash parks on April 2.

Over the last two days, officials issued 50 warnings about playground closures and 283 verbal warnings were issued at dog parks on April 4 and 5 to remind owners all dogs must be on leash.

READ MORE: Playgrounds closed, service counters closed: the latest Edmonton developments amid COVID-19

As well, 28 vehicles-for-hire were stopped on April 2, after new rules were introduced the day before. The city said all those stopped were following the new rules.

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On Monday, the city also announced two new online tools for residents to use if concerned about bylaw violations and physical distancing requirements.

READ MORE: Coronavirus: City of Edmonton introduces new regulations for vehicle-for-hire services

First, citizens can now submit complaints online if they have concerns about COVID-19 order violations, such as the new requirements for vehicle-for-hire services, playground closures or dog park restrictions.

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For people who see other citizens not following the physical distancing rules of staying more than six feet apart, there is now an online form as well.

READ MORE: Dog parks to face restrictions as Edmonton copes with COVID-19 crisis

However, the information will not be used to issue citations, the city said in a news release.

“These reports will only be used for analyzing and tracking purposes and to inform future planning efforts and operational decisions related to COVID-19.”

Playgrounds, service counters closed: the latest City of Edmonton developments amid COVID-19
Playgrounds, service counters closed: the latest City of Edmonton developments amid COVID-19

Complaints about self-isolation restrictions, mass gatherings and workplaces or businesses not complying with closures should still be directed to the Alberta Health Services complaints form.

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The city also announced the City Hall Parkade will be closed to the public — starting Tuesday — in an effort to maintain the “safety and security of the premises.”

Free parking is available in all curbside EPark zones and city-owned EPark lots.

On Monday, Alberta’s chief medical officer of health, Dr. Deena Hinshaw said there were 98 new confirmed cases of COVID-19 in Alberta, bringing the provincial total to 1,348.