Municipality provides Memorial Arena and Recreation Centre operational update
Reeti Meenakshi Rohilla - Staff Writer
The Municipality of Sioux Lookout is informing users of the Recreation Centre and Memorial Arena of changes brought on, “In light of evolving public health directives respecting the COVID-19 pandemic.”
The Recreation Centre will now be operating from 6:00 a.m. to 9:00 p.m. Monday to Friday, and 9:00 a.m. to 9:00 p.m. on the weekends. The Municipality mentioned in their media release that people are required to make appointments for various programs and services offered by the Recreation Centre including the weight room, cardio room, treadmill room, walking track, seniors pickle ball tennis, squash and gymnastics.
They further advised that bookings can be made up to a week in advance, and will be accommodated on a “first come, first served” basis. All bookings will have a one-hour slot. Slots can be booked by contacting the Recreation Centre at (807) 737-1994.
The weight room, cardio room and the treadmill room require users to maintain a two-meter (6 feet) distance, with a maximum of 5, 4 and 3 people respectively, allowed to use them at any given time. Certain machines in the rooms have been roped off in order to help ensure physical distancing. The walking track will now allow a maximum of four people, and a maximum of eight for tennis. There have been no changes made to the seniors pickle ball, squash and gymnastics.
Memorial Arena programs will run from 7:00 a.m. – 11:00 p.m. The Municipality’s media release states that no new changes have been made to any programs, except:
Dressing room occupancy: number of occupants has been reduced to 10 persons per room; additional dressing rooms are being made available to offset the reduction in number of persons per dressing room at any one time.
The Public Skating program has been reduced to 30 individuals on the ice, to accommodate the dressing rooms’ lower occupancy limits.
Municipal Clerk Brian P. MacKinnon shared, “With the ever-changing public health guidelines respecting the COVID-19 pandemic, we are routinely having to update our programs and operations.”
MacKinnon shared that all Municipal facilities, including the Recreation Centre and Memorial Arena, require visitors to wear face masks, observe physical distancing measures, and complete a self-screening assessment prior to entering the facility.
He explained that the Municipality has reduced public skating ice time from two hours to one and a half hours to avoid exceeding the number of users in the facility beyond the COVID-19 limits between various sessions and programs. He added, “We have also lowered the cost of participation to $3.00 for everyone. Users are not required to wear face masks on the ice, but they are expected to wear them everywhere else while in the building - this requirement applies to all user groups.”
The Municipality plans to have both the Sioux Lookout (Third Avenue Recreation Complex) and Hudson outdoor rinks operational this winter. MacKinnon stated that opening dates/times are still to be determined, and are influenced by weather. He shared, “Similar to the public’s use of other outdoor spaces (parks, etc.) which had restricted use earlier this year, we will be installing signage to advise users of the requirements, and we will depend on the good will and conscientiousness of the public to ensure the safety of all users. The use of all outdoors rinks is always at the user’s own risk.”
He added, “We have received new information from the Northwestern Health Unit just this week respecting outdoor ice rinks, and we are presently reviewing this information to determine whether or not we need to implement further measures.”
MacKinnon encourages all members of the public to remain vigilant and diligent with respect to the COVID-19 pandemic. He advised continuing to follow public health guidelines is paramount in ensuring the common goal of reducing community spread of the novel coronavirus.