The City of Wetaskiwin is taking a staged approach in re-opening all its outdoor recreation spaces following their closure in response to the COVID-19 outbreak.
As of Wednesday, May 27, the skateboard park and all City of Wetaskiwin playgrounds will be re-opened for public use with restrictions in place. Tennis courts, basketball courts, and ball diamonds will be re-opened on Friday, May 29, 2020, also with restrictions. 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. It is difficult to keep these confined, high-traffic areas sanitary—especially in the midst of a pandemic.
City-branded signage will be posted at each outdoor recreation space—as well as on the City’s website and social media channels—outlining actions that must be taken to help prevent the spread of the virus. Physical distancing guidelines remain in place for those who are not in the same household or cohort family. Provincial and municipal restrictions on mass gatherings will also continue during stage one of the re-launch.
“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.”
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.
Please be advised that the City is not washing or sanitizing structures. Families are encouraged 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.
- Users are reminded of and must follow public health guidelines including:
- 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
Alberta’s law enforcement agencies have been granted full authority to enforce public health orders and to issue fines. Violations of any of these restrictions will result in a fine under the Alberta Emergency Management Act or the Alberta Public Health Act. “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.”
Click Here for a downloadable chart showing details on the restrictions for each type of outdoor space.