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Tents, spray misters set up in Richmond to beat the heat

Libraries are open but no cooling centres have been set up as Richmond experiences record temperatures.
Lang Park
Lang Park water park could open this week, pending a health inspection.

Tents have been erected in Richmond parks and pool hours have been expanded so Richmondites can beat the heat.

The city has released a list of facilities, including Richmond Public Libraries, where residents can go to seek relief from the heat.

But the city was still waiting on Monday for “clarity” on whether they can open cooling centres despite provincial health orders on physical distancing.

Vancouver Coastal Health (VCH) sent out a release Friday advising “at this time … risks from extreme heat exceed risks from COVID-19.”

They go on to say “no one should be denied access to (cooling centres) because of concerns about crowding or physical distancing.”

Richmond city spokesperson Clay Adams said, however, the public health orders are provincial and “clarity and clear direction would be helpful” to determine if VCH’s guidance supersedes the public health orders.

No one needing attention because of the heat, though, will be turned away from city facilities, he added.

Provincial Health Services noted municipalities should follow direction from VCH on cooling centres, adding the regional health authority has jurisdiction over guidelines.

In addition to tents and covered picnic tables added to parks, the city has installed water spray misters at six parks and increased public swimming at Steveston pool (registration is required).

Schools were closed Monday and Tuesday, so city-run out-of-school care has been expanded as well.

The city is also pushing to get Lang Park Waterpark open by Wednesday, pending health approval.

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