SHERBROOKE – Tuques, mitts, skates and scarves are all sure signs of winter fun in Canada. But non-medical masks? With a new Winter Play Plan in force at the Recplex, courtesy of COVID-19, St. Mary’s residents are getting ready for a whole new kind of normal this season.
In a presentation to the Oct. 7 Committee of the Whole meeting, municipal Director of Community Development & Recreation Mallory Fraser unveiled the department’s first COVID-era user guide for the public arena and centre. The goal, she said, is to “promote the fitness and physical activity of residents” while adhering to the special distancing and hygiene requirements necessitated by the pandemic.
Specifically, the plan states, “With the focus of the health of our participants, and the changing needs we face today, the goal of the Recplex Return to Winter Play Plan is to provide coherent guidelines for getting back to winter programming at the St. Mary’s Recplex in a safe and secure environment.”
Reserving the right to cancel all programming and issue verbal warnings – or even bar – individuals its staff deem are endangering the health of others, the Recplex now stipulates: The maximum number of individuals allowed in the facility is 75; the maximum number of allowed on the ice is 50; the maximum number of individuals allowed in the Warm Room is five; and the maximum number people allowed in any of the four dressing rooms is between eight and nine (check the specific number allowed per room).
Meanwhile, all showers are out of order; physical distancing of two metres or six feet must be maintained in groups of more than 10; arrival and departure times must be strictly observed (no drop-ins or loitering); parents or guardians of individuals older that 13 should wait outside; and carpooling is discouraged.
As for non-medical masks, they’re mandatory except during specific programmed or recreational activities, such as ice time. Some other exceptions apply: For children under the age of two; children aged 2-4 in some; people with specific medical reasons and/or exemptions.
There’s more, of course; the document runs 22 pages. Copies are available through the Department of Community Development & Recreation.