Saanich weight rooms will look different when patrons return as safety precautions are being taken. (Black Press Media file photo)

Saanich modifies recreation centre weight rooms to reduce COVID-19 risks

Fitness centres expected to reopen before September with extra spacing, rink board buffers

Saanich fitness buffs hoping to get back to recreation centre weight rooms still have a bit of a wait ahead and things will look a little bit different when the facilities do reopen.

Recreation centres in Saanich have been closed since March 17 to prevent the spread of COVID-19 but District staff are working to prepare for a safe reopening.

On June 8 Saanich Parks, Recreation and Community Services took to Twitter to share a behind the scenes look at the preparations being made to ensure safety of users in the weight room at the G.R. Pearkes Recreation Centre. Precautions include spacing out the equipment, installing hockey rink boards to create a buffer between the fitness machines and expanding the fitness centre into two rooms.

District staff are preparing for “a modified weight room reopening” sometime before September as part of Phase 3 of Saanich’s Business Resumption Plan which council endorsed on June 1, said Megan Catalano, communications manager and spokesperson for Saanich.

READ ALSO: Saanich reopens all 56 playgrounds with new safety protocols

READ ALSO: Saanich playgrounds, sports courts, recreation centres won’t reopen right away

Catalano said recreation centres will also be looking at limiting the number of patrons permitted to use facilities and implementing pre-registration for sessions upon reopening.

“We’re underway with planning the changes we may make to facilities as we develop more detailed plans to resume services,” she said.

Catalano added that exact dates and details for the reopening of weight rooms and other recreation facilities have yet to be determined but will be made available when plans are finalized. According to the Business Resumption Plan, fitness centres are expected to open with limited access in mid-July and pools may reopen some time in late August.

In mid-May, Mayor Fred Haynes told Saanich News that recreation facilities are high-contact sites and must be reopened carefully as “one death would be one death too many.”


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