Lethbridge, AB – The Government of Alberta announced further detail and modifications to the provincial relaunch strategy yesterday and the City of Lethbridge is responding to those changes.
“Like the public, we too are learning about the changes to stage two of Alberta’s Relaunch Strategy and are now assessing how this impacts the operations of the City of Lethbridge,” says the City’s Director of Emergency Management, Marc Rathwell. “We are excited to see these changes but we also want to manage the community’s expectations. Even though we can open some facilities, it will be in a limited capacity, and only when we think it is safe to do so.”
The Alberta Government has announced that stage two of the relaunch strategy will start on Friday, June 12 and some areas that were identified in stage three have moved up to stage two. This includes indoor theatres, recreation facilities, gyms, pools and arenas.
The City is working closely with the partner organizations operating City-owned facilities to understand the details and guidelines associated with re-opening as well as the feasibility of doing that. Many limitations have been put in place through the provincial guiding documents. For example, drop-in and public swimming is not allowed until stage 3 and water slides, wave pools and hot tubs are to remain closed. Full guidance documents can be found at https://www.alberta.ca/guidance-documents.aspx.
In addition, the City of Lethbridge is responsible for the operations of ice arenas, sports fields and picnic shelters. The Helen Schuler Nature Centre is also operated by the City of Lethbridge. Work is now underway to evaluate how these amenities can re-open for the community to enjoy.
Although the City now has provincial approval to re-open additional recreation and cultural facilities on Friday, much work has to be completed before that can happen. Time is required to hire and train staff and work with local vendors to get the required signage and protective materials in place to meet public health guidelines. This may include the installation of protective shields for staff and systems to manage the flow of people to ensure proper physical distancing. Many of these resources are in high demand and delivery dates are uncertain due to the volume of facilities working to re-open at the same time.
“As with each stage of our relaunch, we know the community has many questions. Unfortunately, we don’t have hard dates at this time for re-opening but as soon as we can get the resources in place, we will provide more information to our community,” says Rathwell. “We want to assure our residents that we are working quickly to make this happen in the safest, most efficient way and we ask for their patience while we do this important work.”
Residents are encouraged to check the City website at www.lethbridge.ca/covid19 and social media for the most recent information.
For general inquiries contact:
Tara Grindle, Corporate Communications
City of Lethbridge