Saanich recreation facilities will begin to reopen on July 13 with new safety protocols. (Devon Bidal/News Staff)

Saanich recreation facilities will begin to reopen on July 13 with new safety protocols. (Devon Bidal/News Staff)

Saanich recreation facilities gradually reopening this summer

Weight rooms open July 13

Saanich residents anxiously awaiting the reopening of recreation centres can mark their calendars as facilities will begin to gradually resume activity starting July 13.

Over the next few weeks, the District of Saanich will begin reopening its four recreation centres which have been closed since March 17 due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. Starting July 13, in-person reception services will resume and weight rooms will reopen at Cedar Hill Recreation Centre, Pearkes Recreation Centre, Saanich Commonwealth Place and Gordon Head Recreation Centre.

READ ALSO: Island Health to use Saanich recreation centre to support pandemic needs

The modified weight room reopening comes as part of Phase 2 of Saanich’s Business Resumption Plan, which council endorsed on June 1. Day camps resumed on June 29 as part of Phase 1.

On July 20, ice access is expected to resume at Pearkes’ green rink and some swim programs will get underway at the Gordon Head Recreation Centre. Additional facilities, including the Saanich Commonwealth Place pool, are expected to begin reopening later in August.

Saanich Mayor Fred Haynes is looking forward to the reopening of facilities as “recreation is a vital part of our community well-being” but he emphasized things will look a little bit different.

READ ALSO: Saanich modifies recreation centre weight rooms to reduce COVID-19 risks

In accordance with the provincial health officer’s orders and with the safety guidelines from WorkSafe BC, Island Health, BC Recreation and Parks Association and the Lifesaving Society of BC, Saanich staff have worked to establish new protocols ahead of reopening the recreation centres to ensure the safety of all facility-users.

Cleaning has been increased in all facilities and staff have been trained to implement the new safety protocols. The recreation centres’ capacities have also been altered to control the number of people in the facilities and to permit proper physical distancing.

In early June, Saanich Parks, Recreation and Community Services shared some behind the scenes photos of some of the changes being made to ensure the safety of weight room users at the Pearkes Recreation Centre. Precautions included spacing out the equipment, installing hockey rink boards to create a buffer between the fitness machines and expanding the fitness centre into two rooms.

READ ALSO: Saanich cancels recreation centre membership passes due to COVID-19

In order to maintain safe numbers, residents will also be asked to register in advance for all recreation centre services including drop-in for the foreseeable future. Reservations can be made at saanich.ca/recreation or by calling the recreation centres.

Anyone with a fever, chills, cough, shortness of breath, muscle aches, headache or sore throat is asked not to visit the recreation centres. Municipal staff have also asked that those who have been outside Canada in the last two weeks or who have been in contact with someone who tested positive for COVID-19 avoid entering the facilities.


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devon.bidal@saanichnews.com

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