Province says rec centres can open Friday but Red Deer says that’s too soon for them

The provincial government outlined its stage 2 of the Alberta Relaunch Strategy but the City of Red Deer will take more time to open recreation centres.

Under the province’s stage 2, recreation amenities, including recreation centres, arenas and swimming pools are permitted to open as of Friday, June 12, in accordance with public health orders and other guidelines. But the City of Red Deer says it will take them “some time to operationalize this change in some areas, specifically for amenities such as recreation centres.”

Shelley Gagnon, Manager of Recreation, Parks & Culture said the safety of staff and residents remains their top priority, and they are working to develop a plan to open additional amenities in a way that protects Red Deerians and prevents the spread of COVID-19.

“We know Red Deerians are anxious to return to their favourite recreation amenities and resume their usual physical activities,” said Gagnon. “The opening of amenities is complex, and we are working hard to balance the need to get these facilities open with the need to ensure the health and safety of everyone.”

In the coming days, staff will review the Relaunch Strategy documents to determine how to move forward with the re-opening of amenities. While the Relaunch Strategy indicates amenities can open as of Friday, there is work that needs to be done to ensure we can welcome users back in a safe way. Staff need to be recalled to work, new policies and procedures need to be developed and implemented, PPE needs to be sourced and coordinated, and facilities need to be assessed, cleaned and inspected.

The city said it expects the opening of amenities will be phased in as we adjust to the guidelines and recommendations from Alberta’s Chief Medical Officer of Health.

The exact timing for the opening of these amenities is still under review, and they said they will share information and updates as timelines are confirmed.

-City of Red Deer photo Collicutt Centre

-news@reddeertimes.ca