RDCK implementing new spectator policy at indoor recreation facilities
On Oct. 30, the BC Provincial Health Officer updated its guidelines on gatherings and events. This order outlines the safety requirements for allowing a maximum of 50 patrons to attend events. These requirements are extensive in order to ensure the safety of our communities. The Regional District of Central Kootenay (RDCK), as well as other local municipalities throughout the region and across the province, are working through the British Columbia Recreation and Parks Association to create effective protocols that can be implemented in our arenas, meeting rooms and other public indoor gathering spaces to meet public health requirements. Until this work is completed, the RDCK will not permit patrons at any event held at its facilities. A ‘patron’ is defined as an individual who is not essential to the event taking place, such as a spectator.
In the interim the RDCK has adopted some best practices to keep the community safe and our youth active:
· Sport organizations can allow one responsible adult per participant if required to assist with the event for children under nine years of age (for hockey this is U9 and lower) as per their COVID-19 Safety Plan;
· Sport organizations can allow four responsible adults per team if required to assist with the event for children older than nine, but younger than 11 (U11);
· Sport organizations can allow one responsible adult for any participant who requires special assistance in order to participate;
· These responsible adults will be deemed essential personnel – volunteers with a role in conducting the event – game or practice/training session.
“We understand the impact and frustration of our user groups in meeting the requirements of the Provincial Health Officer for gatherings and events,” said Craig Stanley, Manager of Recreation at the Creston and District Community Complex and Chair of the RDCK Arena Re-Opening Committee. “We must all take responsibility and do our part for the safety of all and continually focus our efforts to help stop the spread of COVID-19.”
The RDCK has been working with other local governments and event organizers in the Kootenay’s, including minor hockey associations, junior hockey teams and other user groups to create a common set of guidelines that are consistent from facility to facility. It is imperative that all facility users follow the policies and procedures laid out by each facility. Face coverings must be worn at all times in RDCK facilities, except in the field of play.
“Following the guidance of the Provincial Health Officer and the British Columbia Recreation and Parks Association we ask for your patience and understanding as we implement these policies,” said Joe Chirico, RDCK General Manager of Community Services. “This continues to be a changing landscape and we are doing our best to ensure the health and safety of our staff and all users while meeting the requirements of the Provincial health orders. ”
Recreation and park services continue to be reviewed regularly as new information and protocols become available. For the most up to date information on RDCK facilities and its COVID-19 safety plans, please go to www.rdck.ca/recreation.
Incorporated in 1965, the Regional District of Central Kootenay (RDCK) is a local government that serves 60,000 residents in 11 electoral areas and nine member municipalities. The RDCK provides more than 160 services, including community facilities, fire protection and emergency services, grants, planning and land use, regional parks, resource recovery and handling, transit, water services and much more. For more information about the RDCK, visit www.rdck.ca.