Mayor Doug McCallum during a media presser on Feb. 27, 2020. (Photo: Lauren Collins)

McCallum announces Surrey-run daycares, day camps will be shut down

Also setting up call centre so clients won’t have to come into city hall

Mayor Doug McCallum has announced that starting Monday (March 23), all city-run day camps and daycares will be shut down to the public.

He said the day camps and daycares will be shut down to the public “in order to prioritize space for (children of) health workers, first responders and essential service workers.”

That includes two daycares located at city hall and Kensington Prairie Community Centre and 56 spring break day camps.

This follows the city shutting down its recreation facilities as of March 16.

READ ALSO: City of Surrey to close all recreational facilities due to COVID-19 concern, March 15, 2020

“While our recreation facilities are closed during this time, we have begun to put up videos of classes that you can do at home,” said McCallum, adding that the videos launched Wednesday. He said the city will continue to add resources from Surrey’s libraries, museums and galleries.

In the meantime, McCallum urged residents to continue to enjoy Surrey’s outdoor spaces, including parks, playgrounds and beaches.

“Get out in the fresh air, but do so by being mindful of social distancing,” said McCallum. “There are many outdoor spaces you can make use of while keeping social distancing intact.”

McCallum held a media presser Thursday outside of Surrey City Hall about the city’s services and operations. He touched on a number of topics from services at city hall, what steps the city can take to help with the COVID-19 pandemic and property taxes.

He said the city’s “core services and operations that the City of Surrey provides are being maintained for the well-being and safety of our community, with measures put in place to keep our staff and frontline responders safe.”

That means modifications have been made at city hall’s customer service counters, he said, including the requirement to use hand sanitizer upon entry and exit.

McCallum said that starting Wednesday (March 18), the City of Surrey has started implementing remote work options to “ensure employee safety while maintaining city operations.”

“I want to stress that while you see a change in how business is conducted at city hall, the business of the city has not stopped.”

In addition, he said, a call centre to direct inquires that would normally take place at city hall would be set up for Friday (March 20). This way, clients won’t have to come into city hall to conduct business.

The number to call is 604-591-4086.

“Ensuring that business continues, which is a high priority for us, is vital in the days ahead,” he said.

McCallum added staff have “taken stock” of its “large-format industrial space.”

He said the space could “potentially be used to set up temporary hospitals or as space for production lines to manufacture essential medical equipment or for warehousing of essential resources.”

As for property taxes, McCallum said he has been working on this for “a couple of days” with the province to see what can be done. He said he will provide an update “as soon as we can.”

READ ALSO: Surrey Mayor Doug McCallum says city in good hands to deal with COVID-19 crisis, March 13, 2020

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