As the city looks at reopening some of its services that were shut due to COVID-19, it is taking a phased approach.
Coun. Samson Hartland questioned city staff on the plans at Whitehorse city council’s May 19 meeting with city manager Linda Rapp reporting the city is in continued contact with Yukon government officials.
A plan to reopen the Canada Games Centre has been submitted to the territory’s Chief Medical Officer of Health and it’s expected the city will hear back on it shortly.
She said officials were hoping to hear back a day later, though when asked for an update Wednesday city spokesperson Myles Dolphin stated that as soon as officials know and dates are confirmed they will be released publically. As of press time, no such information had been provided.
Rapp stated at the council meeting the first phase of the recreation centre’s reopening will focus on areas like the running track, wellness studio and flexihall for drop-in activities with the potential for some outdoor fitness programs as well.
Plans to potentially reopen city service counters are also being finalized.
Plans will adhere to public health guidelines with the Yukon government’s public health measures for phase one of the reopening of indoor public recreation centres and libraries stating that “restrictions may be eased based on public health assessment. Strict infection prevention and control measures and an operating plan will be required.”
Meanwhile, fitness studios fall under businesses and services in the health guidelines and can be already open with public health measures in place.
As the city looks to reopen the CGC in some capacity, it is also working on a plan that would allow for the popular day camps the city normally hosts through the summer.
Rapp said there have been some challenges in determining how to offer the camps while ensuring distancing and health regulations are met, but it’s anticipated that plan will be submitted to the office of the Chief Medical Officer of Health this week. If approved, the camps could potentially get underway in mid-June.
As she noted there’s “a lot of demand” for the day camps.
Meanwhile, Hartland also issued a reminder that while city tax notices have gone out with the original deadline of July 2 for residents to pay the bill, interest and penalties won’t be charged until after Sept. 2.
The date change, in place for all municipalities through the Yukon government came in light of the financial impacts COVID-19 is having on many.
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