The City of Delta has reopened sport courts and other outdoor amenities after closing them in March due to the COVID-19 pandemics. (James Smith photo)

Delta reopens sport courts, other outdoor amenities

Playgrounds, skate and bike parks, outdoor pools, outdoor fitness classes to remain closed for now

The City of Delta has reopened sport courts and other outdoor amenities.

As of Friday morning (May 8), the city has reopened tennis courts, pickleball courts, disc golf courses and lawn bowling greens, with appropriate safety guidelines in place. As well, Delta has reopened its artificial turf fields, but large gatherings and team sports remain prohibited — on all sports fields.

Amenities such as playgrounds, skate parks, bike parks, outdoor pools and outdoor fitness classes all remain closed, but the city is considering reopening them in the next phase if sufficient safety measures can be implemented.

“From the beginning of our response to this pandemic, our priority has been to protect public safety. The actions of Delta residents and people across British Columbia have allowed us to begin a cautious plan of reopening,” Mayor George Harvie said in a press release.

“During this first phase of reopening some outdoor recreation amenities, we must all take great care to follow the guidelines to prevent the spread of this virus. If we can collectively work together to keep each other safe and healthy, we can look forward to additional amenities reopening soon.”

To that end, the city is says is it imperative that all users of the newly opened outdoor amenities adhere to safety guidelines, respect posted signage and comply with Delta’s Park Ambassadors, who will continue to educate park patrons about physical distancing.

The city is asking park and amenity user to do the following to help control the spread of COVID-19:

• Keep at least two metres (six feet) away from people from other households

• Avoid large groups and gatherings

• Wash your hands thoroughly and frequently

• Avoid touching your face

• Cover your cough or sneeze

• Limit the use of the amenities at busy times

• Stay home if you’re feeling unwell — with no exceptions

The City of Delta has also requested Metro Vancouver reopen the parking lots at Boundary Bay Regional Park and Deas Island Regional Park to provide enhanced park access, with the requirement that Metro Vancouver ensure appropriate physical distancing is maintained.

As of Friday morning, all Metro Vancouver regional parks are open to the public, with the exception of Barnston Island and Brae Island. Park facilities such as playgrounds, docks, rental facilities and picnic areas remain closed. Additionally, the parking lots at Lynn Headwaters Regional Park, the Lower Seymour Conservation Reserve and Acadia Beach in Pacific Spirit Regional Park are closed until further notice.

“Metro Vancouver has made every effort to keep our regional parks open during the COVID-19 public health emergency because we recognize their value for connecting with nature, reducing stress and maintaining physical and mental well-being,” Metro Vancouver board of directors chair Sav Dhaliwal said in a press. “It is up to all of our visitors to do their part and keep each other and our staff safe during this critical time.”

Regional park visitors are asked to follow these guidelines:

• Choose parks in your own area — do not travel across the region

• Walk, bike or take transit to avoid contributing to traffic and parking issues

• Maintain physical distance of at least two metres from others at all times, including in parking lots

• Dispose of tissues and other waste in designated garbage bins

• Pack it in, pack it out — do not leave any items behind in parks

• Comply with closures of playgrounds, nature play areas and picnic shelters

• Wash or sanitize your hands frequently during the day and upon returning home

• Stay home if you are sick

Metro Vancouver has increased staffing, traffic management and signage at all parks and is continuing to monitor and manage visitor behaviour, with staff reassessing the status of each regional park on an ongoing basis.

Earlier this week, the City of Delta launched its new “virtual recreation centre,” an online portal adapting some of Delta Parks, Recreation and Culture’s programming to be accessible from home.

The virtual recreation centre includes on-demand full-length fitness classes and a schedule of unique interactive programming that will take place over the phone or via conferencing software such as Zoom. As well, the site features a selection of arts projects, games and recipes for the whole family to enjoy.

READ MORE: Delta launches new ‘virtual recreation centre’ (May 5, 2020)

RELATED: COVID-19: Selected B.C. parks set to open for day use May 14 (May 7, 2020)

SEE ALSO: British Columbians can double their ‘pandemic bubble’ mid-May, but no large gatherings (May 6, 2020)

SEE ALSO: COVID-19: B.C. prepares to restart more retail, services, offices in May (May 6, 2020)

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