The City of Penticton has announced it has begun planning to safely reopen certain public facilities based on newly announced provincial health guidelines. (Jesse Day - Western News)

COVID-19: City of Penticton planning ‘restart’ of public facilities

Public areas such as fields and public washrooms may soon be open to the public

Plans are underway to safely reopen certain public facilities and recreation areas in Penticton.

Penticton has tasked its Emergency Operation Centre (EOC) with preparing plans to get some of the city up and running again based on the newly announced provincial health guidelines.

READ MORE: More COVID-19 restrictions being lifted across the country

“Our top priority is the community’s safety and health. We are taking every precautionary step to maintain safety measures while leading our city toward recovery,” said Penticton’s fire chief and EOC deputy director, Larry Watkinson. “Things are not going to be the same but we’re working toward the new normal.”

In recent weeks, the EOC has been working towards creating an assessment tool to evaluate the risk of reopening individual facilities and sporting fields. This process has involved corresponding with local sports organizations, recreational groups and the B.C. Recreation and Parks Association.

After receiving further guidelines May 6 involving B.C.’s Restart Plan, the EOC is moving ahead with measures to assess resuming certain activity, taking a phased approach.

Ongoing updates will be posted on the City’s new “Restart the City Guide” at penticton.ca/restart.

READ MORE: LETTER: Time to move forward to create a better B.C.

To support restart measures, the EOC encourages all Penticton residents to abide by the following five guiding principles issued by the provincial government.

  • Personal hygiene: Wash your hands often, cough into your sleeve, considering wearing a non-medical mask and don’t shake hands.
  • Stay home if you are sick: This will involve routine daily screening. Anyone with any symptoms must stay away from others. Returning travellers must self-isolate.
  • Environmental hygiene: Clean more frequently, enhance surface sanitation in high-touch areas and use touch-less technology wherever possible.
  • Safe social interactions: Meet with small numbers of people, maintain a distance between yourself and others, choose outdoor over indoor locations and consider the size of the room (the bigger, the better).
  • Physical modifications: Consider spacing within rooms or in transit, the room design, the movement of people within spaces and the usage of plexiglass barriers.

“These next couple of weeks will be a crucial time for Penticton and it’s important to abide by these guidelines. We need to continue to make progress on ending the spread of COVID-19, allowing us to fully shift our attention to restarting Penticton,” said Mayor of Penticton, John Vassilaki.

For the latest updates involving city facility and sport field activity, go to penticton.ca/restart.

For more information about B.C.’s Restart Plan, go to gov.bc.ca/restartbc.

READ MORE: COVID-19: Business return up to managers, customers, Dr. Henry says

@PentictonNews
editor@pentictonwesternnews.com

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