Crystal Schick/Yukon News City hall in Whitehorse on June 17. On June 15, city hall reopened their doors for the first time since March when they were shut to the public due to COVID-19.

City services reopening successful

Efforts continue to plan for Phase 2 of reopening the CGC

City staff are reporting a successful reopening of some services this week.

On June 15, the Canada Games Centre (CGC) and city hall reopened their doors to the public for the first time since March when they were shut to due to COVID-19. City-hosted day camps also got underway at the CGC, Takhini Arena and Mount McIntyre Recreation Centre.

A phased approach to reopening the CGC is being taken with the flexihall, wellness studio, track and workout space now opened. The field house is being used for day camps. Other portions will be opened in future phases.

Distancing measures, signs, lower limits on the number of people in one place and other measures have been put in place.

In a June 18 interview, City of Whitehorse manager of facility and recreation services Krista Mroz said both the day camps and the reopening of the CGC have gone well in the first week, with the exception of the weather that’s been limiting time outside for the day camps.

That said, she noted staff have adjusted activities to an indoor format and the smaller group sizes of eight has made it a little easier for staff to work with.

Meanwhile, staff are hearing “a lot of positive feedback” to the reopening of the CGC for drop-in users.

While officials will look more closely at the exact numbers that came through the door to access the facility, Mroz said a few more seem to be coming in each day with approximately 1,000 in the facility throughout the first day of reopening, including staff, three groups of eight kids in day camp and users.

Throughout the week, city staff have been pleased to see some familiar faces returning, some looking to play pickle ball in the flexihall, some taking a fitness classes, others walking or running the track, but it is the workout space seems to be the most popular.

There was one occasion in a late afternoon where the workout space had reached its 30-person capacity, but it was for a short period and there weren’t a lot of users left waiting to use the space.

The city also started the week with a greeter in each open area to explain new procedures and answer any questions. Mroz said given the success of residents being able to follow the new procedures, the city has cut back on the number of greeters.

Greeters remain at the flexihall and workout space, as there are pieces of equipment that may be exchanged there.

With the reopening having been successful, no major changes are planned at this point unless there are changes in health guidelines and requirements.

“We’ll adapt as needed,” Mroz said, noting planning for Phase 2 of the CGC’s reopening is continuing.

Phase 2 would see the arenas opened to user groups and for some modified drop-in activities; the aquatic centre opened to user groups and for lane swimming, aquatic fitness classes, and swim lessons with modifications; and some limited use of the field house.

It’s anticipated the Phase 2 plan will be put to the Chief Medical Officer of Health for review towards the end of June.

Finally, City of Whitehorse spokesperson Myles Dolphin said customer service reps are reporting the reopening of front counter services at city hall have gone well.

He noted there’s a number of floor decals and new signs to assist the public.

Contact Stephanie Waddell at stephanie.waddell@yukon-news.com

Whitehorse

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