The Regional District of Central Kootenay (RDCK) Community Services continues to work on getting facilities open to the public.
The most recent announcement by the RDCK said staff and management are working towards a return to aquatics with the opening of indoor pools in Castlegar, Creston and Nelson targeted for Tuesday, October 13th.
The RDCK said pools have been closed since March 16, 2020 due to COVID-19.
“The RDCK aquatic centre work group is working hard towards re-opening pools October 13th,” said Marty Benson of Nelson and District Recreation Complex and Chair of the RDCK Aquatic re-opening work group.
“The re-opening of pools has many layers to work through to ensure a safe return for our staff and our patrons. Safety is our first priority.”
The RDCK said Community Services, under the guidance of the Provincial Health Officer (PHO), Interior Health, BC Recreations and Park Association (BCRPA) and Lifesaving Society, has been focused on collaborating with other municipal recreation services to safely reopen indoor pools across the RDCK.
The RDCK said once opened, users must use a pre-registered reservation process to book space in the community complex of choice.
There will be no drop-ins will be allowed.
The RDCK said detailed schedules are currently being finalized and will be promoted to communities in the coming weeks with re-opening will occur in a series of stages and will be adapted as restrictions change within the province.
The RDCK said some amenities will remain closed upon the initial opening.
“Safety measures such as physical distancing of two metres between participants and keeping total number of users under 50 people continue to impact our recreation and parks operations,” said Joe Chirico, General Manager of Community Services.
“The RDCK and all our recreation partners will abide by all Provincial Health Orders and recommendations to keep our community safe.”
Staff are actively working on site-specific safety plans for each of the three indoor pool facilities in the RDCK. The safety plans will include, modifications on how patrons will enter and exit the facility, modified use of the pools including the flow of people within the pool areas, cleaning protocols, adapted schedules and more.
Non-medical masks or face coverings are now required when entering and moving through all common areas of indoor recreation facilities, except when exercising or performing physical activity.
Wearing a mask combined with other important preventative measures, such as frequent hand washing and physical distancing, will help prevent the spread of COVID-19.
At this time, change rooms will not be available. Users are expected to arrive in their swimming attire and will be provided with a spot to store their shoes, coats and outerwear.
Once the safety plans are finalized, these will assist user organizations in planning their use of the pool. All organizations renting pool space will need to provide the RDCK with a COVID-19 safety plan.
A virtual meeting was held with pool user groups to review re-opening plans and new facility requirements.
The RDCK appreciates the patience of all our users as we implement a new reimagined service with COVID-19 policies and procedures in place.
Recreation and park services continue to be reviewed regularly as new information and protocols become available.
For the most up to date information on the RDCK pool openings, please go to www.rdck.ca/recreation.