The Town of Stratford is preparing to reopen the gymnasium and fitness centre next month.
Located within the Stratford Town Centre, the facilities have remained closed to the public since March due to COVID-19.
There will be many changes in effect to allow for the opening beginning on Monday, Oct. 5.
Residents will notice increasingly familiar changes such as limits to the number of people permitted in the spaces, health screening and sign-in logs for contract tracing, increased hand hygiene stations and signage and floor stickers reminding facility users to practise physical distancing.
If/when maximum numbers are reached, users will be required to wait until space is available before entering the facility.
At this time face masks will be strongly encouraged for all users but not mandatory. This, like many of the guidelines above, may change on short notice by the town or the province choosing to put in place tighter measures.
Other changes will include the following:
- Hours of operation: Monday to Thursday from 6 a.m. to 9:45 p.m., Friday from 6 a.m. to 9 p.m. and Saturday and Sunday from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m.;
- reduced capacity for all spaces;
- the track will only be used for walking and in one designated daily direction only;
- no showers will be available;
- water bottle refill stations only will be available (no water fountains);
- additional cleaning measures;
- spacing of fitness equipment to allow for physical distancing;
- signing in and out of the specific space the user will be attending programming or using the facility (for example, the gymnasium, walking track or fitness equipment) as numbers in each space will be tracked at all times.
Stratford has relied on additional recreation spaces in the community to support programming, however with these being unavailable for the time being, and with required cleaning between group bookings in the facility, the gymnasium and stage will remain primarily booked for recreation programs only.
There will not be open gym time as there has been in the past, however 1 to 3 p.m. every Monday and Wednesday will be reserved for pickup basketball and 1 to 3 p.m. on Tuesday and Thursday for pickup badminton. Otherwise, recreational programming will be scheduled throughout the remaining times.
Those attending scheduled recreational programs will not be permitted to arrive more than 15 minutes prior to the start of the programming and will be asked to leave the facility within 10 minutes of the scheduled end of the programming. This will allow staff time to clean and reset the gymnasium space for the next scheduled program.
As the COVID-19 situation continues to evolve in P.E.I., changes are likely to occur. Facility users are reminded that operational changes are in place to allow for the successful reopening of the fitness area and are asked to be respectful of them and staff who will be required to enforce the rules in place.