For immediate release
Esquimalt, BC—Families in Esquimalt will get to revisit some familiar stomping grounds starting Tuesday, June 9. Municipal playgrounds in the Township of Esquimalt will open to the public after closing on March 20 due to concerns about the spread of COVID-19 .
“Residents value our neighbourhood playgrounds and we are thrilled to make them available again”, said Mayor Barbara Desjardins. “We are hopeful that with our community following Dr. Henry’s guidelines during this Phase 2 process, we can look to resuming more of the activities we have missed during COVID-19”.
Although there is no evidence of COVID-19 transmission in playground environments, Island Health has released suggestions to help to reduce the potential risks. At Esquimalt playgrounds, parents and caregivers will see signs sharing the health authority’s advice:
- Sick children or adults must not enter the playground or spray park
- Adults should maintain 2 metres of physical distance
- Children should wash their hands before and after using he playground or spray park
- They need to avoid overcrowding
- The playground equipment is not being disinfected
The popular splash pad at the Esquimalt Adventure Park will remain dry until later this summer. Timelines for resuming other recreation activities like fitness programs and pool access are also in the works. Each area requires separate planning that considers both staff and the public. The Township is creating these plans under the guidance of WorkSafe BC and Island Health while in consultation with industry associations and staff occupational health and safety committees.
“An incremental approach to re-opening recreation facilities will help us stay responsive to the changing conditions brought about by the pandemic,“ said Parks and Recreation Director Scott Hartman. “Our cautious approach is an investment in staff and public health”.
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