MEDIA RELEASE May 12, 2020

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Nelson, BC:  In light of the Provincial government’s press conference last week, the Regional District of Central Kootenay (RDCK) has received numerous inquiries as to when recreation facilities, specifically outdoor organized play, will be open to the public. The process is fluid and the RDCK’s top priority is to ensure the safety of our staff and residents while providing opportunities for physical activity and improving our overall well-being.

It is the RDCK’s responsibility to reduce the transmission risk of COVID-19 at our facilities, parks and services by reducing the contact intensity and number of contacts encountered by users.  In order to ensure this is done correctly, the Provincial government has reached out to the British Columbia Recreation and Parks Association (BCRPA) to develop a set of proposed guidelines on how we can operate safely during this pandemic. The guidelines for re-opening must be approved by the Public Health Office (PHO) before moving ahead. It is then up to local governments to determine what services to re-activate and when. As per provincial direction to the BCRPA, the RDCK will be concentrating on casual outdoor recreational opportunities first, and outdoor organized play will follow. The target day for delivery of these guidelines to the Province is May 20.

“From the beginning of our response to this pandemic, our priority has been to protect public safety,” said Joe Chirico, General Manager of Community Services. “We have been working together with the BCRPA to ensure a united and organized approach to planning and re-opening our outdoor facilities across the province.”

Rebecca Tunnacliffe, CEO of BCRPA noted that, “Regional district and municipal recreation departments around the province recognize the need and benefit of a collaborative re-opening approach so that the domino effect of COVID-19 closures is not repeated. The guideline that we are developing is founded upon the understanding that each local government has its own balance of risk, available resources, capacity, and public demand to weigh in the decision making about their timeline for re-opening facilities and offering services.”

These are the first steps the RDCK is taking to ensure a return to safe recreation opportunities. Our goal will be to keep all our stakeholders informed throughout the process.

For further information, please contact:

Joe Chirico, General Manager of Community Services
Regional District of Central Kootenay
Tel: 250-352-8158
Email: [email protected]