Photo by Shaela Dansereau

City of Wetaskiwin re-opening outdoor recreation spaces in staged approach

As of Wednesday, May 27, the skate park and all City of Wetaskiwin playgrounds will re-open.

The City of Wetaskiwin is re-opening all its outdoor recreation spaces in a staged approach following their closure due to the COVID-19 outbreak.

As of Wednesday, May 27, the skateboard park and all City of Wetaskiwin playgrounds will re-open with restrictions in place.

Tennis courts, basketball courts, and ball diamonds will be re-opened on Friday May 29, also with restrictions.

Although these re-openings are happening in alignment with all public health orders and restrictions, community members are still strongly encouraged to exercise caution and do what is necessary to continue to prevent community transition of COVID-19.

Some of the public health guidelines and restrictions in place for the use of City of Wetaskiwin outdoor recreation spaces include:

• Maintaining a two-metre physical distance from those not within your household.

• Adhering to new mass gathering restrictions put in place for outdoor activities.

• Only sharing common equipment with members of the same family or cohort.

• Carefully washing and sanitizing your hands before and after using all common areas.

• Do not touch your eyes, nose, and mouth with unwashed hands.

The City emphasizes that Alberta’s law enforcement agencies have been granted full authority to enforce public health orders and to issue fines.

“The lack of access to outdoor play structures has been an especially difficult reality for many families,” said Robert Osmond, Director of Emergency Management with the City of Wetaskiwin. “We are re-opening playgrounds and the skateboard park first while continuing to align with recommendations from Alberta’s Chief Medical Officer of Health. Please take the time to familiarize yourself with the rules of use on our COVID-19 portal before attending any City outdoor spaces.”

The City will not be washing or sanitizing any structures. Instead, they encourage families to use extreme caution around common touch points, carry their own hand sanitizer with them, limit contact with those outside their family or cohort, visit playgrounds within their own neighbourhoods, and to stay home if they are feeling sick or have been exposed to someone with COVID-19.

Washroom facilities at By-the-Lake Park will remain closed for the time being to further reduce the risk of infection and spread of COVID-19.

“The City is now in a position to begin gradually re-opening a number of our outdoor facilities due to the diligence and commitment of our residents complying with all public health recommendations throughout the pandemic,” says Osmond. “While we are excited to be returning to some form of normalcy, it will take the continued support of all community members to keep each other safe and healthy through this relaunch.”

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