The City of Cranbrook has announced that in one month, on November 2, 2020, Western Financial Place and the Aquatic Centre will re-open with COVID-19 modifications in place.
The City said that they are following guidance from the Provincial Health Office, BC Recreation and Parks Association, and viaSPORT to gradually re-open Western Financial Place.
The facility will not be open to the general public and operations will look very different than they did prior to the COVID-19 pandemic, says a City press release. All patrons will be required to be pre-registered for all activities as drop-ins for programs and services will not be allowed.
“This is required to facilitate staff safety, maintain our ability to contact trace, and keep us operating within the rules and guidelines surrounding COVID-19,” said the City. “Aquatic operations will see very limited programming initially. Activities that will be offered are lap swimming, aquafit, private lessons and swim therapy.”
The concourse walking program will re-open with a set schedule and will have limits on the number of participants for the time-being. There will be a one hour maximum time limit for each prescheduled walking session and walkers will be required to register in advance.
The City is also working with multiple contractors to wrap up the final components of major upgrades to the arena that have been taking place over the summer, says the press release.
“Replacement of the new plant chiller and the chlorination system have run into delays which have contributed to the delayed opening,” explained the City. “Part of these delays were directly attributable to supply challenges related to the pandemic. It is anticipated that the ice surface will be available for usage prior to the end of October.”
Residents will have to follow new protocols that are now in place when it comes to registering for activities, entering and exiting the building, how they will be screened for COVID symptoms, mask usage and other requirements.
There will be detailed information on the City website as of Friday, October 23, which will include the above requirements as well as a schedule of activities.
“Staff are looking forward to seeing familiar faces returning to the venue to enjoy activities and see the many changes that have taken place within the facility during the closure. We appreciate the public’s patience during these unprecedented times,” said Chris New, Director of Community Services.
Registration for activities is slated to begin on Monday October 26.
The City is asking residents of Cranbrook and patrons of Western Financial Place to be patient as the COVID-19 environment is rapidly changing. Any time, patrons could see restrictions imposed that could affect timelines and programming.
“Just because these and many other City facilities and amenities are gradually opening to the public, it does not mean things are back to normal when it comes to COVID-19,” said the City. “It is important that everyone continue to maintain proper physical distancing and wear masks when that distancing may not be possible. You should continue to keep your circle small, wash your hands regularly and bring hand sanitizer with you when you are out. Stay home if you are sick and please be patient with other users around you.”
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