Delta city hall. (Grace Kennedy photo)

Delta council approves plan to reopen city facilities

Next phase of plan includes outdoor pools, summer day camps, outdoor fitness programs

Delta’s outdoor pools, fitness and summer camps are tentatively scheduled to reopen in early July as part of the city’s phased reopening plan.

Council endorsed the city’s initial reopening plan for city hall and parks, recreation and culture facilities at a special meeting on Tuesday afternoon (June 2).

The five-stage plan presents a detailed incremental approach to reopening city facilities closed in response to the COVID-19 pandemic in a manner that ensures the safety of the public and staff, according to a city press release.

The first two stages of the plane consist of the city’s initial pandemic response — including the closure of civic facilities and the opening of the virtual city hall and creation of virtual fitness programs —followed by the recent reopening of outdoor recreation facilities including playgrounds, tennis and pickleball courts, artificial turf fields, skate and bike parks, sport courts, lacrosse boxes, picnic tables and park furniture.

READ MORE: Delta playgrounds, basketball hoops, reopening June 1

SEE ALSO: Delta reopens sport courts, other outdoor amenities

Stage three, which begins mid-June and will run through to September, will see the reopening of city hall in mid-June, as well as the outdoor pools in North Delta and Ladner in early July, the opening of outdoor fitness and summer camps from mid-June to early July, and sports skills development on fields and at Tilbury Ice arena for organized non-contact play and practice beginning mid-June.

(See details below…)

A staff report notes the reopening plan is a “living document” and the timing and order of implementing actions within each stage is subject to change as new information becomes available.

Decisions to reopen facilities will continue to be made by mayor and council with advice from the Delta’s parks, recreation and culture commission and recommendations from staff, taking into consideration directives from the Provincial Health Officer, Fraser Health Authority, WorkSafeBC and stakeholder groups.

Based on current guidelines, Delta’s water spray parks and the Fred Gingell stairs will remain closed.

The City of Delta’s reopening plan and accompanying staff report can be found online at delta.civicweb.net/document/196777.

City Hall

The plan states city hall will be open for limited public access for tax payments starting June 15, however residents will continue to be encouraged to use online services rather than come to city hall in person. Physical barriers will be in place at points of contact with the public, along with signage to encourage physical distancing and occupancy limits.

Council meetings will continue to be held virtually for the time being, though allowances will be made to increase in person attendance by council members, staff and the public, including limits on the number of public attendees and identifying seating areas for the public, staff and council that ensures physical distancing.

Outdoor pools

The North Delta and Ladner outdoor pools are planned to reopen sometime in early July, albeit with limits on the number people who can use the facilities at a given time.

The plan notes there is no evidence that COVID-19 can be transmitted through chlorinated water and the risk of transmission in outdoor environments is lower than indoors, making Delta’s outdoor pools a lower risk opportunity to reopen to the public provided physical distancing and appropriate modifications and protocols are put in place.

Those modifications include limiting the number of participants through pre-registration, limitations on the use of change rooms, signage encouraging physical distancing, one-way flow of patrons through the facility, and modified procedures and required training for lifeguards.

The outdoor pools are scheduled to operate to the end of the Labour Day weekend. Mid-day and evening hours will be dedicated to public swimming, with morning hours set aside for swim club practice — subject to an approved COVID-19 plan from the relevant provincial sport organization.

No fees will be charged for public swims and normal rental rates will apply to the swim club use. Registration will be limited to Delta residents only.

Delta’s spray parks are likely to remain closed as they use tap water and are not chlorinated to the same level as swimming pools.

Outdoor fitness programs

The city is planning to host a number of outdoor fitness programs on the artificial turf fields at North Delta Community Park and Winskill Park in Tsawwassen, including high-intensity interval training, yoga and simply stretch classes.

The programs are planned to start from mid-June to early July and run until September. Registration will be for Delta residents only and fees will apply. Participants will be required to bring their own mats and water bottles.

Summer day camps

Daycare summer camps are being proposed for the dry floor areas of both North Delta Recreation Centre and South Delta Recreation Centre. The camps will run from 8:00 a.m. until 6:00 p.m. June 29 to Sept. 4, allowing for working parents to have places for their children to play safely.

Activities will be outdoors as much as possible and groups will be limited to six children per instructor to ensure physical distancing is maintained during activities. Each site has the capacity for eight groups to allow for separated dedicated inside space when required, but these lower-ratio camps will accommodate only about 30 per cent of the kids they have in years previous.

Summer camp registration will be limited to Delta residents only and the fees will remain the same as in 2019 : $250 per week.

Sport skills development

The plan also proposes to make Tilbury Ice arena and select sport fields available for organized non-contact skills practice in mid-June. A condition of reopening is that the groups have authorized COVID-19 resumption plans approved by their respective federal and provincial sport organizations. This includes ensuring that the appropriate insurance provisions are in place which will be required for rental agreements between the City of Delta and the user groups.

Further reopenings will be undertaken in stages four and five of the plan.

Stage four and beyond

Stage four, which is tentatively set to begin in September and unfold incrementally thereafter, will include reopening indoor fitness facilities and gymnasiums (with restrictions), partial reopening of indoor pools, modified arena use (no contact sports and limits on the number of participants) and increased services at city hall.

Facilities included in stage four reopenings are the North Delta Recreation Centre, Sungod Recreation Centre, Pinewood Recreation Centre, Ladner Leisure Centre, Ladner Community Centre, South Delta Recreation Centre and Winskill Aquatic Centre.

Stage five, which would mark the end of the pandemic, will include the full reopening of all city facilities — for modified use at first before returning to full capacity — including seniors’ centres, arts centres, the Douglas J. Husband Discovery Centre (i.e. the new Delta Museum) and Harris Barn.

Larger-scale community events and festivals will also have to wait until stage five of the city’s reopening.



editor@northdeltareporter.com

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