Activities scheduled for Phase 4.1 of the provincial government’s Re-Open Saskatchewan plan include taking part in summer camps, outdoor sports as well as the reopening of swimming pools.
Here is what you need to know as the province continues to reopen in phases amid the pandemic.
Will kids be able to sit around the fire and sing songs under the stars at summer camp?
Not likely, for a couple reasons.
Overnight camps are not permitted under Saskatchewan’s guidelines for child and youth camps.
Provincial health officials said singing is a high-risk activity because the novel coronavirus can be transmitted through saliva or respiratory droplets. Although not recommended, singers must wear masks, according to guidelines.
Each day, orders dictate guardians must assess their child for symptoms of COVID-19 before sending them to camp.
Health officials said groups of children and staff members assigned to them cannot mix with other groups. They added play structures must be cleaned and disinfected before and after use by each group.
Can my team start practicing before the season opener gets the green light?
Yes, for some seasonal sports.
Starting on June 22, outdoor sports and recreational activities may resume in Saskatchewan. However, full-contact sports, such as tackle football and rugby, will not be permitted at this time, according to the provincial government.
During a press conference on Tuesday, Saskatchewan Premier Scott Moe said sports like soccer, softball and flag football can reconvene next week.
Competitive play, tournaments and inter-provincial travel for games are prohibited in this phase. In the meantime, health officials are encouraging players to train and scrimmage within the team.
Provincial guidelines for youth and adult teams to follow include:
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- chewing tobacco, sunflower seeds, spitting and sharing water bottles increase the risk of transmitting the virus and are not permitted;
- congratulatory gestures, such as high fives and handshakes, are not permitted;
- try to minimize cheering and whistling as much as possible to limit the spread of COVID-19; and
- shared equipment must be cleaned and disinfected frequently.
Is it OK to visit pools while keeping physical distancing in mind?
Yes, break out the sunscreen!
Saskatchewan’s outdoor swimming pools, paddling pools and spray parks are allowed to open effective June 22.
Guidelines dictate swimmers and staff, with the exception of household and extended household contacts, maintain a minimum of two metres apart in all areas, including the pools.
Outdoor aquatic facilities, with the exception of spray parks, are limited to a maximum of 100 people. Health officials said lane swimming activities must be altered to ensure physical distancing between swimmers.
According to guidelines, swimming lessons must be scheduled outside of public swim times and should be postponed unless facility operators are able to maintain physical distancing.
Wherever possible, officials said people should enter and exit the facility in their swim clothes to minimize crowding in change rooms.
Health officials said enhanced cleaning and disinfection is required in public and staff areas, including diving boards and water slides.
Flotation aids, such as flutter boards and pool noodles, are permitted at the discretion of facility operators. These items must be disinfected and not shared between non-household contacts, according to guidelines.
While the province is allowing outdoor spray pads and pools to reopen on June 22, not all municipalities are moving ahead.
Regina spray pads will be ready to open June 22, while the City of Saskatoon is planning for June 26.
However, Saskatoon is planning to reopen some of its outdoor pools in July, while the City of Regina is sticking to its decision in late May to keep outdoor pools closed, saying these require “capital maintenance and preparation” to get up and running, which can take seven weeks.
How many people can be invited to indoor gatherings starting on June 22?
Additionally for Phase 4.1, the province is doubling the allowable size of indoor public and private gatherings to 30 people where space allows for two metres between participants.
Saskatchewan’s chief medical health officer Dr. Saqib Shahab reminded people that physical distancing measures must be followed to prevent the transmission of COVID-19.
“You need to have enough space to have 30 people,” Shahab said in a press release on Wednesday.
“If you don’t have enough space for 30, invite less people.”
What can be expected next with the Re-Open Saskatchewan plan?
The second part of Phase 4 is expected to include reopening guidelines for indoor pools, rinks, libraries, museums, galleries, movie theatres, casinos and bingo halls. A date for Phase 4.2 has yet to be announced.
— With files from Daniella Ponticelli
Questions about COVID-19? Here are some things you need to know:
Symptoms can include fever, cough and difficulty breathing — very similar to a cold or flu. Some people can develop a more severe illness. People most at risk of this include older adults and people with severe chronic medical conditions like heart, lung or kidney disease. If you develop symptoms, contact public health authorities.
To prevent the virus from spreading, experts recommend frequent handwashing and coughing into your sleeve. They also recommend minimizing contact with others, staying home as much as possible and maintaining a distance of two metres from other people if you go out. In situations where you can’t keep a safe distance from others, public health officials recommend the use of a non-medical face mask or covering to prevent spreading the respiratory droplets that can carry the virus.
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