Municipal facilities, programs, services reopen
Tim Brody - Editor
The Municipality of Sioux Lookout reopened its facilities, programs and services on Feb. 17, after the provincial stay-at-home order was rescinded in the Northwestern Health Unit’s catchment area on Feb. 16 and the NWHU area was allowed to reopen under Yellow - Protect public health measures under the provincial government’s revised COVID-19 Response Framework.
“We are eager to welcome the public back to our facilities, but we do ask that all of the restrictions and requirements for admittance are followed, so that we can do our part to reduce the likelihood of transmission of COVID-19, thereby protecting our staff and visitors to our facilities,” advised Municipal CAO Michelle Larose.
The Municipal Office (25 Fifth Avenue), Airport Administration Building (Airport Road), Emergency Services/By-law Enforcement Department (39 Fifth Avenue), and Public Works Garage (41 Fifth Avenue) reopened with daily hours of operation being from 10:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. for the public.
The Municipality advised that:
- ALL visitors will be required to wear a mask upon entry into any Municipal facility and will be required to self-screen prior to entering such facilities.
- ALL visitors will be required to call ahead and book an appointment with the individual with whom they wish to meet (not required for quick visits to pay bills etc.)
The Municipality shared that all measures currently in place at its Children’s Centres will continue with respect to daycare programing.
The Recreation Centre and Memorial Arena reopened to the public and user groups with operating hours of 6:00 a.m. to 9:00 p.m., as per prior to the shutdown.
- The Municipality of Sioux Lookout advised in a Feb. 16 news release that:All visitors to the Recreation Centre will need to:
- Wear a mask upon entry to the building, and self-screen prior to entering.
- Check-in at the Front Desk, confirm that they are not displaying any symptoms of COVID-19, and will be signed-in by staff, to facilitate contact tracing should it be required. Staff will also explain updated rules and procedures to facility users.
- Memorial Arena: will return to regular operating hours, as per prior to the shutdown.
- Track: the walking track above the gymnasium will reopen, and providing everyone respects physical distancing, a mask will not need to be worn if walking along the track (but may be worn if the user so chooses). There will be absolutely no running. A Spin bike and two work out stations will also be available along the walking track.
- Squash Courts: will be reopening, with the following restrictions: maximum of two people permitted in the court area at any given time, court times will be in 45-minute increments, and there will be a 45-minute interval between each booking to allow sufficient time for sanitizing/disinfecting.
- Weight and Cardio Rooms: will be reopening as well, however, appointments must be made in advance to book the room and equipment. Each piece of equipment will have a perimeter around it (established by tape on the floor), masks will NOT need to be worn when within the “no mask zone” (but may be worn if the user(s) feels more comfortable) – however, masks must be worn at all other times, including going from one piece of equipment to another. Additional disinfectant and sanitizing materials will be available for the public to use.
- Gymnasium: will reopen for pickle ball only – please contact Rec Centre for schedule. Maximum of 12 individuals wishing to play pickle ball can be accommodated.
- Change Rooms: will be available for limited use. Masks must be worn at all times in the change rooms, and showers will not be available at this time.
- Sauna: will remain closed at this time.
- Memberships: we understand that people haven’t been able to use their memberships for the last several months. As was stated at the outset, Memberships that were in effect from the date of closure of our facilities to the public, will be extended for the duration of the closure. Individuals with Memberships must contact the Recreation Centre to arrange for this extension – failure to contact the Recreation Centre to extend your membership will negate the possibility of extension.
The Municipality of Sioux Lookout shared that anyone currently feeling uncomfortable about returning to the Recreation Centre at this time can contact the Front Desk, share that they are uncomfortable about returning to the facility at this time, and their membership will be put “on hold” for up to 60 days. The Municipality did advise people to note that, “It will not be extended longer than the period during which our facilities were closed, but we are willing to put a “freeze” on the membership for up to 60 days, after which users would be expected to return to using their Memberships, and the extension to the membership due to the earlier closure would come into effect at that time.”