The City of Vernon is preparing to open outdoor pools starting July 4, 2020. (File)

COVID-19: Outdoor pools to open in Vernon

Summer camps, arena among facilities prepared to open with new coronavirus regulations in place

Outdoor pools, an arena and summer camps are soon to open in the city of Vernon.

The City of Vernon is anticipating the Lakeview “Peanut” Pool and Lavington Pool to open July 4, if weather allows for it. Meanwhile, Kal Tire Place North Arena is slated to open July 9.

“Over the last several weeks, staff have worked diligently to develop risk mitigation plans to reintroduce recreation opportunities for our public and prepare to open facilities in accordance with provincial health guidelines,” Mayor Victor Cumming said.

“Thanks to the collective effort of everyone in our region — and across our province — we’ve heard the good news that B.C. is ready to transition into Phase 3 of the BC Restart Plan,” he said, which will include the reopening of spas and hotels among others.

The indoor recreation centre and other indoor facilities will remain closed until further notice.

The Polson Park Spray Park will also remain closed, as it is experiencing issues with high groundwater in the park.

Vernon city councillors and the District of Coldstream council approved guidelines for a safe reopening of outdoor pools in the Greater Vernon Area Monday, June 22.

Vernon council also approved plans for the spray park, Lakers Club House, the arena and the operation of children’s summer camps.

Guidelines were developed by the Greater Vernon Recreation Services that met the requirements of provincial public health officials and BC Recreation and Parks Association.

Reopening guidelines will see reduced occupancy, physical distancing procedures, increased cleaning and physical modifications to facilities to limit the risk of spreading the novel coronavirus.

“There is no evidence that the virus that causes COVID-19 can be spread to people through water in pools, hot tubs, spas or water play areas,” the BC Centre for Disease Control reports. “Proper operation and maintenance of these facilities should inactive the virus in the water.”

Aquatics manager Gary Lefebvre said hundreds of pages of documentation and recommendations were reviewed to ensure the City of Vernon had the best plan for a safe reopening.

“We know reopening is complex and must be done carefully,” he said. “We are really looking forward to providing young families in our community with a safe place to stay active and cool off this summer.”

City of Vernon council also approved an additional $125,000 from the Recreation Services Operational Reserve to cover any shortfall in the Recreation Services 2020 budget that may result from the reopening of its facilities and programming.

The Armstrong Spallumcheen Outdoor Pool is set to open June 29, meanwhile Enderby opened its spray park on May 15, starting with a soft opening. Enderby’s pool opened June 22.

READ MORE: Safe, clean campsites to be made available for seasonal fruit pickers in Okanagan

READ MORE: No wakeboards urged on Okanagan lakes


@caitleerach
Caitlin.clow@vernonmorningstar.com

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