On Tuesday, C-K’s Medical Officer of Health confirmed that the majority of stage three openings will go forward in Chatham-Kent, with restrictions, aside from municipal pools and day or overnight camps, buffet food services and table gaming at casinos.
Today we’ve learned that outdoor playground equipment will re-open on Friday.
Local splash pads will also be open next week.
With those announcements in mind, Dr. David Colby is telling local parents they shouldn’t be too concerned about their kids playing with the playground equipment.
Colby provided the information during a CK Public Health board meeting on Wednesday.
He says the coronavirus spreads through direct contact and close contact, but not necessarily by touching surfaces, where it deteriorates quickly.
“On surfaces (the virus) deteriorates very quickly,” says the doc. “And COVID-19 is an envelope virus which makes it very fragile in the environment.”
Dr. Colby says on a hot, summer day in full sunlight the virus “would not persist at all”.
“It’s direct contact and close proximity to people (that aids in transferring the virus), so that’s going to be the challenge with playground equipment, splash pads and everything else that’s opening up in stage three – it’s making sure that people physically distance,” he says. “I’m not too worried about the surfaces of playgrounds. Having people wash or sanitize their is a way to handle contact with those surfaces.”
Additional cleaning protocols are expected to be in place for local parks and equipment.
Additional openings set for Friday include local gyms, seated indoor dining, the performing arts, theatres and casinos. However, Chatham’s new Cascades Casino continues to assess the situation, given the restrictions currently in place. An announcement is expected soon.
Dr. David Colby is permitting that the following operations in Chatham-Kent may resume service as early as Friday, July 17 at 12:01 A.M with public health measures in place:
– Outdoor recreational facilities, including playgrounds and splash pads (splash pads open next week)
– Indoor facilities for sports and recreational fitness activities, including gyms, yoga and dance studios and other fitness facilities
– Training for indoor team sports and individual high-contact sports
– Seated dining indoors at restaurants and bars; no buffets
– Personal services for the face (facials, facial piercings, eyebrow waxing, eyelash extensions etc.)
– Performing arts shows and cinemas with reduced capacity for physical distancing
– Casinos (slots and electronic gaming only; no table games) and charitable gaming halls and events, including horse racing
– Remaining workplaces may open, with remote work wherever possible
Some municipal services/local businesses may choose not to reopen at this time, at their discretion. Businesses should only reopen if they have proper and responsible health and safety measures in place.
The limits for social gatherings have increased: indoors to 50 people, and outdoors to 100 people, both with physical distancing measures. Social circles (the amount of people you can have close contact with) remain at a maximum of 10 people.