The City of Orillia has reopened certain park amenities for public use, including tennis courts and off-leash dog areas, as COVID-19 restrictions are eased across the province.
Tennis and pickleball courts, disc golf courses and off-leash dog areas are reopening today along with the Kiwanis Skateboard Park, outdoor picnic areas and benches. Pavilions are also open on a first-come, first-served basis since the city is still not issuing any group rental permits at this time. Basketball courts are expected to be open by Friday, May 22. Park users must still practice physical distancing and avoid gatherings of more than five people outside their immediate household.
“Our community has done well to flatten the curve of the COVID-19 virus and we are pleased to reopen certain park amenities for public use,” said Mayor Steve Clarke in a statement. “As we gradually phase in reopening, it is absolutely critical that residents remain vigilant and follow COVID-19 safety protocols, such as physical distancing and gathering restrictions, which are still very much in place. If we ease up too soon and let our guard down, we risk a resurgence and further community transmission of COVID-19.”
The city is not reopening baseball diamonds or athletic fields due to the increased maintenance required and the inability for teams to practice together. Families or households looking to play a pick-up game of soccer or baseball are asked to use other open spaces in the park. Beaches, outdoor playgrounds, play structures and equipment, including splash pads and public washrooms, will stay closed until further notice.
“We ask for your patience as we continue to respond to the province’s reopening guidelines,” Clarke said. “Like any business that was also given the green light to reopen, the city must ensure all the necessary health and safety precautions are in place so that our employees and the community stay safe and that can take some time in order to do so properly.”
For more information, visit the City of Orillia website.