Sylvan Lake playgrounds reopen, use not recommended

The Town reopened playgrounds Thursday morning but recommends not playing on them for the time being

Playgrounds in Sylvan Lake reopened Thursday morning, however the Town does not recommend playing on the structures.

The Town of Sylvan Lake reopened playground structures in accordance to the recently issued “guidance for playgrounds” from the Province.

The guidance from the Province states “individuals are responsible for respecting public health orders.”

“Although playground use is not recommended, we acknowledge that use is at the discretion of the public, so the Province has prepared a list of individual actions and precautions to take if using public playgrounds,” a press release from the Town states.

Playground use is not recommend by the Town despite the structures no longer being tapped off. This is because children may have a harder time avoiding touching their face, which helps to spread the virus to the equipment to other children to their families.

If one chooses to use playground structure in Sylvan Lake, the Town says physical distancing of two meters must be maintained between those from different households.

“…This is an absolute must; physical distancing works.”

If using the public playgrounds other precautions to take include:

• Do not use or visit a playground if feeling sick or have COVID-19 related symptoms;

• Children should not share toys, and should limit their contact with others outside of their household;

• Wash your hands, and wash frequently. Please note that public washrooms remain closed at this time;

• Carry and regularly use hand sanitizer with at least 60% alcohol content; use immediately before and after using playground equipment;

• Reconsider visiting the playground during peak times, when the equipment is busy, to ensure you can keep a physical distance of two metres from others outside of your household.

Playgrounds have not been cleaned or disinfected by the Town, though they have been CSA inspected for equipment safety.

In addition to the playground reopening, picnic shelters and tennis courts are also now open.

On May 21, the Town of Sylvan Lake also made the decision to cancel summer camps and day camps for the 2020 season.

“Due to COVID-19, staffing resources, and other feasibility concerns, including the current closure of our recreational facilities, the Town has made the decision to cancel NexSource Centre Summer Camps, and Sunbuster Day Camps for the 2020 season.”

The Town is review its amenity relaunch plan to integrate the new restrictions to group sizing.

On May 15 the Chief Medical Officer of Health stated groups of up to 50 people are now permitted. The Town says this is for outdoor activities only, and they need time to review their plan to adjust it to the expanded restriction.

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