The city of Kingston has announced it will close Breakwater Park, along the waterfront, to prevent overcrowding. The moves comes following an announcement by KFL&A Public Health yesterday about an outbreak of COVID-19 in the adjacent university district.
“I have issued an emergency order to close Breakwater Park effective today for a 10-day period. This timeline coincides with students move-out, but can be extended if needed. As one of our most popular community parks, closing it is a last resort,” says Mayor Bryan Paterson.
Thursday, KFL&A Public Health said there were 70 cases of COVID-19 linked to the Queen’s University outbreak.
“Yesterday, however, we saw troubling instances of overcrowding, which is especially concerning given the current outbreak in the nearby university district. We also know that enforcement is challenging when crowds get that large, especially since the provincial order does allow for multiple outdoor gatherings of up to five people. For this reason, Breakwater Park is being fenced off, but we look forward to reopening this waterfront park as soon as it’s safe to do so,” he said.
The emergency order to close the park for a 10-day period will be in effect as of 4 p.m. Friday.
At noon Friday, city staff could be seen in the park erecting fencing to close the north, east, and west boundaries of Breakwater Park, which runs along King Street between Lower University Avenue and Beverley Street.
According to the city, bylaw enforcement officers and Kingston Police will be closely monitoring other parks un proximity to the University District. Anyone using Breakwater Park, even alone, is now subject to fines.
Those who fail to maintain physical distancing in any city park – and those who enter the closed area of Breakwater Park – can be issued a $2,060 penalty notice for failure to comply with an emergency order.