Community programs and services are coming back to Vancouver, with a few new conditions.
Programming focused on children, youth, seniors, and food security is set to return to 24 community centres across the city beginning Sept. 8, the Park Board announced on Thursday.
However, it warns offerings like Happy Hearts - think supervised exercise classes and educational seminars for those suffering from or at risk of heart disease - yoga for seniors, osteofit, seniors’ socials and lunches, food hampers, and youth social and leadership activities might be limited, citing COVID-19 protocols, room capacity, and safety precautions as the cause.
Programs will require registration, while drop-in spaces will be limited. Schedules will factor in time for proper sanitizing, while Park Board staff said they're working on creating signage and communications for new procedures to help ensure program participants are aware of all necessary protocols and responsibilities.
Programs will also feature staggered start and end times, "to reduce the chance of overcrowding along with physical distancing measures," the Park Board explained in a release.
Despite the return of community programming, the Park Board said there is not yet a timeline for the reopening of gyms and fitness centres, as well as racquet courts, rinks, indoor pools, and pottery and woodworking studios at Vancouver's 24 community centres.
"The Park Board is taking a thoughtful and phased reopening and recovery approach in alignment with BC’s Restart Plan, and in consultation with various government and non-government agencies and partners," read the release.
The Park Board said it is continuing to review the "feasibility of reopening other facilities and services, and will make adjustments to its operations based on the latest information provided by VCH, the Provincial Health Officer, and industry partners."
While the Park Board is responsible for operating community centres, includiong maintenance, core facility staffing, and all overhead costs, Community Centre Associations are tasked with determining and delivering programming for Vancouverites.
Stay tuned to vancouver.ca/covid19, where the Park Board will be posting more details regarding registration when those details are finalized.