By Mallorie Rast
While the date for Phase 4 has not yet been announced, the Government of Saskatchewan has given the go ahead for playgrounds across the province to open in time for the weekend on June 12th. Spray Parks have not been included in this early release, and await Phase 4.
The opening of the parks and playgrounds ahead of schedule is in response to the flattened curve in the province, and perhaps also sparked by the increasingly warmer weather with the coming of summer.
“I can understand the need for parents to get their children outside right now,” Dr. Saqib Shahab, Chief Medical Health Officer, said on a press release on Monday. “And it is reasonable to believe that we can access our parks, playgrounds and beaches in a safe manner.”
Shahab went on to warn that persons using the playground are still expected to self-screen for symptoms before stirring out of doors and to observe proper hand hygiene and physical distancing while using the playground equipment. Drinking water fountains will not be in operation, and washroom facilities will be open with increased cleaning and disinfecting schedules.
The guidelines released after the initial announcement defined proper hand hygiene as follows:
- Wash hands frequently with soap and warm water or with hand sanitizer
- Refrain from touching your face
- Use hand sanitizers before and after using playground and other recreational equipment.
In order to maintain physical distancing, households and extended households are instructed to keep a distance of at least 2-meters from other households, and to avoid grouping around picnic benches, park entrances and around equipment. In addition to the 2 meter distancing, households are not to share equipment with those of a different household, and the overall group size on the playgrounds is not to exceed 30 persons.
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