COVID-19 concerns shut down Science North and Dynamic Earth in Sudbury
March Break camps to run as scheduled
Both Science North and Dynamic Earth in Sudbury will close to the public on Friday evening, due to concerns over COVID-19, but scheduled camps for March Break will proceed as scheduled, according to the CEO.
Guy Labine says the decision to shut down the centres came down on Friday after the province's chief medical officer of health recommended events over 250 people be cancelled.
As a result, both centres will shut down as of 6 p.m. on Friday.
"Normally we would be open for March break," Labine said. "It's typically the busiest time of the year for us."
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Labine says thousands of people visit the centres during the March Break period.
"I'm equally saddened to disappoint the 25,000 people or so who normally come during March break," he said.
"But we realized this is not a normal situation and first and foremost is the safety of our visitors and our colleagues."
He says a total of about 80 children are registered to attend the camps.
"We have a relatively small number of campers in the context of the two science centres that we have that we'll be able to continue to provide a safe environment for campers to experience Science North and Dynamic Earth."
Labine says it was a difficult decision to make.
"It's not [a decision] that I ever thought I would make in my time as CEO of Science North," he said.
"But I absolutely support the decision to play a role in minimizing the outbreak of COVID-19."
He adds it's unclear how long the closure will be in place for.
"If you would have asked me five days ago if we were closing I would have said no," he said.
"If you would have asked me yesterday if we were closing I would have said no. Obviously because this situation is evolving so rapidly, it does require the ability to be nimble and adjust."
He adds staff will still be able to report to work as there are other projects to work on, including preparing for new exhibits.
With files from Sarah MacMillan