Calgary’s playgrounds are about to lose that yellow tape.
A release from the municipality says that to align with updated provincial guidelines, the 1,100 City-operated playgrounds throughout the city will be reopened starting Friday, May 29.
These areas were closed at the start of the COVID-19 pandemic as the high-touch surfaces put children at risk of spreading the virus to each other.
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Given that Alberta has entered Stage 1 of its Relaunch Strategy, a number of businesses, services, and now, play structures have been allowed to reopen with some restrictions.
According to the release, the City will start by reopening regional playgrounds that serve more than one community, such as the ones at Bowness Park, Riley Park, and Stanley Park.
Calgarians are asked not to play on playgrounds until signage and tape has been removed, which the City expects to take until Wednesday, June 3.
“We know Calgarians are eager to return to playgrounds. We’re asking citizens to be patient,” said Calgary’s Emergency Management Agency Deputy Chief, Sue Henry, in the release.
“Please wait until tape has been removed and signage has been placed indicating a playground is open before using a playground.”
The reopening process will include a light inspection of the grounds to ensure that there are no issues, though if there are, the playground will remain closed until they can be repaired, the release states.
Typically, the City’s playgrounds receive seven inspections throughout the year, monthly during the summer.
Calgarians who use the newly opened playgrounds are asked to follow these guidelines provided by the city:
- Those who are sick or have symptoms related to the coronavirus must not use playgrounds.
- Practice proper hand hygiene. Wash and sanitize your hands before and after use.
- Encourage children to avoid sharing toys or sports equipment and limit contact with individuals outside of their household or cohort family.
- Try to encourage your children to avoid touching their face.
- Maintain two metres (six feet) of physical distance between yourself and others.
- Clean and disinfect toys and sports equipment prior to and after use.
- Carry and use hand sanitizer containing at least 60% alcohol content immediately before and after using playground equipment.
- Maintain physical distancing and limit congregating with other people when entering and leaving the playground and supervising children playing (e.g. paths, benches, picnic areas).
- Follow Government of Alberta guidance on group gatherings.