June 5, 2020 --
The City of Prince George and School District No. 57 are reopening all of the roughly 80 civic and school playgrounds within the Prince George area effective immediately.
Both the City and School District No. 57 are encouraging parents to ensure their children are adhering to provincial orders and recommendations concerning physical distancing, proper hygiene such as hand-washing, and limiting gatherings to fewer than 50 people when visiting playgrounds.
Parents are also asked not to bring children who are feeling sick to playgrounds and to refrain from visiting these sites when they themselves are sick. Signs are being installed today (June 5) to remind visitors to exercise proper distancing and hygiene, and to keep the numbers of visitors down.
"As we reopen our City playgrounds it gives children the opportunity to get outside and have some fun and exercise," says Lyn Hall, Mayor of Prince George. "Council would like to thank residents for being patient as we reopen our many parks and playgrounds throughout the City."
The City closed all City playgrounds on April 3 in order to align with Provincial Public Health guidelines relating to physical distancing and orders limiting public gatherings. On March 23, School District No. 57 announced it was closing all school playgrounds as a health and safety measure and to stop the spread of COVID-19.
"In alignment with school districts across the province, we are reopening our playgrounds," says School District No. 57 Superintendent Anita Richardson. "As Dr. Henry has indicated, it is safe to do with users taking the appropriate measures. There should be small numbers of children on equipment at any one time, preferably small family groupings outside of school hours. All users should avoid physical contact and we will have signs in place as a reminder about physical distancing and the importance of washing or sanitizing hands before and after play.
"We're happy to make playgrounds available to our students and the general public again. Children will be supervised during school hours, but, no matter the time of day, we encourage everyone to keep the health and safety of themselves and others in mind," says Richardson.
School District No. 57 includes Prince George, Mackenzie, McBride and Valemount. Playgrounds in Prince George and Mackenzie are opening immediately, while playgrounds in McBride and Valemount are scheduled to open next week.