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PRESS RELEASE - Gradual Reopening of Facilities and Parks – June 25, 2020

PRESS RELEASE

For Immediate Release

Gradual Reopening of Facilities and Parks – June 22, 2020

DUTTON DUNWICH ON – June 25, 2020.  On June 8, 2020 the Ontario government announced that it is permitting more recreational activities to open by moving forward with the Stage 2 of reopening the province.  Part of this announcement includes the reopening of water recreational facilities such as outdoor splash pads, wading pools, and all swimming pools, outdoor-only recreational facilities and training for outdoor team sports, with limits to enable physical distancing.

Although this is extremely encouraging, we are urging our residents to exercise caution and continue to follow Southwestern Public Health advice.

The municipality is currently developing/implementing a plan to conditionally reopen our park areas after receiving guidelines from Southwestern Public Health.  However, residents need to note this will be a gradual process and our park facilities will have restrictions to keep everyone safe.  Coordination of the reopening is not an easy task as we need to ensure that individuals and families have safe access to outdoor spaces.  It is critical residents take everyday steps to reduce exposure to COVID-19, such as maintaining physical distancing by staying two metres apart from anyone outside of their household, washing hands regularly, and staying home if feeling unwell.

We are diligently working with the Southwestern Public Health, individuals who usually run programs inside our facilities and community sports groups to develop safe participation and playing environments.  If physical/social distancing cannot be maintained by the public then permitting use of certain park facilities may not be permitted.

The Municipality is soliciting residents’ patience as we collectively determine how to accommodate groups of no more than 10.  To accommodate this Provincial Order the municipality may have to scheduled team times, limiting patrons at the splash pad, reduced hours of operation, limited individual user times etc., this is in an effort to ensure social/physical distancing currently mandated under our “new” normal is maintained.

Recreational programs being run by individuals in our community i.e., Zumba, Taekwondo etc., wishing to utilize Municipal green space (until facilities reopen) must submit a written request to the Municipality to review and approve.  The written request can be emailed to info@duttondunwich.on.ca and indicate the days and times individuals plan to run the program and outline all precautions being implemented for the safety of everyone i.e., having hand sanitizer available etc.  Mandatory social distancing, and no groups larger than 10 are required to be observed.  Once the Municipality has reviewed your request you will be contacted with our decision.

Unfortunately, the limited construction projects permitted under the Emergency Declaration prevented the major repairs to be completed at the pool, therefore the pool will be closed this year.

For the safety of all our residents the Municipality will be monitoring our public spaces to ensure Southwestern Public Health guidelines are being followed permitting the public to enjoy Municipal facilities worry free and in a safe manner. We have all the confidence in our residents to abide by Southwestern Public Health guidelines, however if violations are observed the Municipality reserves the right to close facilities with no notice.

The safety of our residents is of paramount importance.  Stay safe!

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