Coronavirus: Libraries, museums and galleries close in Marlborough to slow spread of virus

Marlborough Libraries will close from Monday to ward off the coronavirus.

CHLOE RANFORD / LDR

Marlborough Libraries will close from Monday to ward off the coronavirus.

Marlborough libraries, museums and other community facilities will close from Monday to slow the spread of the coronavirus, less than a day after the region’s first confirmed case.

Closures will include the Blenheim and Picton Libraries, the Marlborough Museum, the Edwin Fox Maritime Museum, the Millenium Public Art Gallery, and the 2000 Stadium Gymnasium and Pool.

A 67-year-old woman was soon to be released from Wairau Hospital in Blenheim to complete her home isolation. Details of his trip were under investigation.

Mayor John Leggett said on Sunday the decision to shut down several “popular and much-loved” services was not a decision taken lightly by Marlborough District Council, but was a “precaution. reasonable”.

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“Our actions follow government recommendations regarding the need to limit public gatherings to fewer than 100 people indoors and encourage social distancing measures, including maintaining a space of one to two meters between people.” , did he declare.

“Our facilities are visited by thousands of people every week who are in relatively close contact and it is on this basis that we believe that a closure for the foreseeable future is necessary.”

He said some of the facilities were counting on the council for financial support and that would help them through this “difficult time.”

“We are in the same boat and take a ‘Team Marlborough’ approach.

Stadium 2000 general manager Rob MacLean said on Sunday that the building’s pools, gym stadium and group fitness classes would all be closed “until further notice.”

The leased space would still be operational, like Subway, as would the outdoor three-on-three basketball courts.

Standing in Stadium 2000's new outdoor basketball courts, GM Rob MacLean, back left, with directors Roy Devanny, Simon Halliday and Pete Baker (front).

CHLOE RANFORD / LDR

Standing in Stadium 2000’s new outdoor basketball courts, GM Rob MacLean, back left, with directors Roy Devanny, Simon Halliday and Pete Baker (front).

Council chief executive Mark Wheeler said all library staff would remain employed and three would be redeployed next week to bolster the Marlborough Civil Defense team.

The board would look at other ways of providing library services.

“There are going to be a lot of people who are self-isolating at home and people want to read books and it’s good for them to do that.”

He said bus services in the area will continue to operate.

The Seymour Street city council building would remain open, but people were “urged” to call for help if possible, rather than entering.

Council staff would start moving off-site from Monday, starting with those with health problems or working on “vital services”, such as water supply, solid waste or road traffic.

Council Emergency Services Director Brian Paton said Nelson Marlborough Health last week asked Marlborough Civil Defense to take over its job of finding accommodation for those wishing to self-isolate during the recommended period of two weeks.

Council Emergency Services Director Brian Paton outside the Blenheim Emergency Operations Center.

CHLOE RANFORD / LDR

Council Emergency Services Director Brian Paton outside the Blenheim Emergency Operations Center.

He would help people with housing, goods and services, and hardship payments, but had not yet received a case.

Paton said it would help the person to self-isolate.

The Civil Defense team is reportedly speaking with community groups, churches, sports clubs, retirement homes and Gray Power on Monday to see if they can look after their members, after the government asked people over 70 or those with weakened immune systems to stay. at home.

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