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Town extending closures until end of May, cancels summer camps, events

May 15, 2020   ·   0 Comments

The Town of New Tecumseth recently extended the closure of all its facilities from May 4 to May 31.

Town CAO Blaine Parkin said the municipality will be working closely with the Province and Simcoe Muskoka District Health Unit (SMDHU) to determine if that date should be extended further.

Since COVID-19’s implications have become clearer, a number of annual events that take place locally through the summer have been cancelled, as provincial health directives limit gatherings to five people.

“Some are still considering rescheduling them into the fall but for the most part… they will not be holding those event this year,” noted Parkin.

He said the information he’s currently getting from local and provincial health officials is any events over 50 people won’t be permitted for the foreseeable future. 

While all the Town’s outdoor amenities and playgrounds are currently closed to the public, there is potential for the outdoor splash pad to open this summer.

“Physical distancing might be easier to achieve in a splash pad-type setting or other park amenities like playgrounds and swings,” Parkin explained.

However, Town staff recommend that the indoor and outdoor pool remain closed unless public pools are in the Province’s first two phases of its reopening plan.

In terms of summer camps, the Town isn’t currently planning the provision of any programming, but they can be started up relatively quickly if summer camps become permitted by the Province.

“We could certainly pull together… a basic level of service and certainly if the province starts to move on opening some of the economies… we’d like to be in a position to assist young families in helping their parents get back to work,” Parkin noted.

The Town’s trails and park spaces have remained open as long as they’re used responsibly, respecting physical distancing, but related amenities are closed as they cannot be properly disinfected or sanitized after their use.

As May 31 approaches the Town will consult with the Province and SMDHU to determine if and when facilities will open back up their doors.

By Sam Ordowski
Local Journalism Initiative Reporter


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