COVID-19 update: Outdoor pools and Kal Tire Place North Arena to open in July

June 25, 2020
News

The City of Vernon continues to closely monitor the COVID-19 situation in British Columbia and follow the directives of health authorities and senior levels of government.

“Over the last several weeks, staff have worked diligently to develop risk mitigation plans to reintroduce recreation opportunities for our public and prepare to open facilities in accordance with provincial health guidelines,” said Mayor Victor Cumming. “Thanks to the collective effort of everyone in our region – and across our province – we’ve heard the good news that BC is ready to transition into Phase 3 of the BC Restart Plan. In addition, we’re excited to announce we’re ready to activate our plans, open our outdoor pools and one arena, and host children’s summer camps, to help us stay active this summer.”

Lakeview “Peanut” Pool and Lavington Pool are anticipated to open Saturday, July 4, weather dependent.

The Kal Tire Place North Arena is anticipated to open July 9.

All other indoor recreation facilities will remain closed until further notice, as well as the Polson Spray Park, which is currently experiencing issues with high groundwater in Polson Park.

On Monday, June 22, Vernon City Council and the District of Coldstream Council both approved guidelines for the safe re-opening of their respective outdoor pools. Vernon City Council also approved plans for the Polson Spray Park, Lakers Clubhouse, Kal Tire Place North and the operation of summer camps for children.

The guidelines were developed by Greater Vernon Recreation Services in response to the requirements of the BC Public Health Office and used several resources to create the guidelines including: the BC Recreation & Parks Association (BCRPA), Lifesaving Society of BC & Yukon, WorkSafe BC, the Regional Health Authorities, the Ministry of Health and the BC Centre for Disease Control (BCCDC). 

The reopening guidelines include reduced occupancy limits, physical distancing procedures, increased cleaning schedules and some physical modifications to facilities in order to limit the risk of contracting or spreading COVID-19. According to the BCCDC:

“There is no evidence that the virus that causes COVID-19 can be spread to people through water in pools, hot tubs, spas, or water play areas.  Proper operation and maintenance (including disinfection with chlorine and bromine) of these facilities should inactivate the virus in the water.”

“We have reviewed hundreds of pages of documentation and recommendations to ensure we have the best plan for a safe reopening,” said Gary Lefebvre, Manager, Aquatics. “We know reopening is complex and must be done carefully. We are really looking forward to providing young families in our community with a safe place to stay active and cool off this summer.”

For updates on facility reopening plans, please visit our web site at www.gvrec.ca, or to view the guidelines for safe reopening, visit: www.vernon.ca/safereopening.

-30-