Advertisement

Coronavirus: St. Albert, Strathcona County reopen playgrounds

The playgrounds at St. Albert's Lions Park and Rotary Park reopened Wednesday, May 20, 2020.
The playgrounds at St. Albert's Lions Park and Rotary Park reopened Wednesday, May 20, 2020. Wes Rosa, Global News

St. Albert has started reopening its playgrounds after they were shut down at the end of March due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

On Tuesday, St. Albert City Council approved reopening some outdoor amenities, including playgrounds.

Before reopening, all city playgrounds will be inspected by the Canadian Standards Association and any maintenance work that’s required will be completed.

Lions Park and Rotary Park were the first to reopen at 10 a.m. Wednesday.

READ MORE: Coronavirus: Here’s why experts, health officials want you to stay away from public parks

After inspections and preparations are successfully completed, 37 more play structures will be reopened at 8 a.m. Saturday. The rest of the city’s playgrounds are scheduled to be opened by June 6.

Story continues below advertisement

Once the city park sites are open, community park sites, neighbourhood park sites and outdoor fitness equipment will follow, according to the city.

However, the city stressed that it will not be sanitizing the outdoor amenities, so use of the equipment is still discouraged.

The playgrounds at St. Albert’s Lions Park and Rotary Park reopened Wednesday, May 20, 2020.
The playgrounds at St. Albert’s Lions Park and Rotary Park reopened Wednesday, May 20, 2020. Wes Rosa, Global News

On Friday, Alberta’s chief medical officer of health spoke about guidance around the use of playgrounds. Dr. Deena Hinshaw said where playgrounds are not restricted by municipalities, they can be accessed.

[ Sign up for our Health IQ newsletter for the latest coronavirus updates ]

“I recommend encouraging your children to play with children in the same household or cohort family,” she said.

“Also, sanitize hands before and after playing on a play structure. And remember to wash your children’s hands and your own thoroughly when you get home from the playground.”

Story continues below advertisement
Click to play video 'Playgrounds, service counters closed: the latest City of Edmonton developments amid COVID-19' Playgrounds, service counters closed: the latest City of Edmonton developments amid COVID-19
Playgrounds, service counters closed: the latest City of Edmonton developments amid COVID-19

Strathcona County also announced its playgrounds will open throughout the day on Friday.

County officials warn users that they will not be sanitizing the equipment. Families should use extra precautions if they choose to use the playgrounds, like washing their hands before and after use, not touching their faces and keeping at least two metres from those not from the same household.

The county will also open other outdoor amenities over the next few days.

May 21

  • Broadmoor Public Golf Course’s driving range and ProShop

May 22

  • Playground and outdoor fitness equipment amenities (138 locations)
  • Skateboard park at Millennium Place
  • Clubhouse at the Broadmoor Public Golf Course

May 22-29

  • Gazebos/picnic shelters — staged opening

May 29

  • Bike skills park (pending maintenance and weather)
  • Disc golf at the Strathcona Wilderness Centre

June 1, June 15, June 30

  • Select fields and diamonds — staged opening as Alberta Health Services approves sport-specific organizations only. Not open for league play. Fields and diamonds are currently open for casual use by members of the same household.

City-owned playgrounds in Edmonton were cordoned off and closed to the public on March 24. Drinking fountains and decorative fountains were also turned off.

Story continues below advertisement

Members of Edmonton’s emergency advisory committee are set to discuss the status of playgrounds during their weekly meeting on Thursday.