New Tecumseth prepares for second stage of reopening

The Town of New Tecumseth is continuing with our recovery efforts as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic. Several town services will be impacted by the Government of Ontario’s recent announcement of its second stage of the reopening framework.

“While the tremendous progress we have made to contain the spread of COVID-19 is encouraging, it is not quite business as usual,” said New Tecumseth Mayor Rick Milne.

The town is currently assessing the latest health directives and guidelines and is working towards opening the splash pads for July and August.

“We are excited to be looking at the possibility of opening our splash pads throughout the community to help keep you cool this summer, should we be able to do so safely,” said Milne.

In an effort to continue to contain the spread of COVID-19 in New Tecumseth, the town regrets to announce that the 2020 Summer Day Camp Program has been cancelled and the Outdoor Rotary Pool will unfortunately not be opened this season.

While the province has announced that day camps and outdoor pools may be able to proceed, the guidelines for operating these camps and pools safely are extensive. With the latest guidelines provided by the Ontario Government as well as the Lifesaving Society and paired with the recommendations from Simcoe Muskoka District Health Unit, the town has decided that the procedures and preparations that need to be in place to ensure a safe and operational camp and swimming pool experience is not feasible at this time.

“We understand there may be disappointment, however, the decision to cancel summer camps and to not open the Outdoor Rotary Pool this season was made in order to protect the health and wellbeing of our program users, pool users, community members, visitors and summer staff,” Milne said.

As a direct result of COVID-19, the town has been increasing our parks staffing levels at a slower rate than in previous years. Following the province’s announcement of Stage 2 of the opening framework, we are now looking to ramp up our staffing levels to be able to now provide some additional services for the summer months.

Parks staff will begin preparing fields for use in July. This includes soccer and baseball fields for outdoor team sports for training only and with no games or scrimmages. Physical distancing of at least two metres, and all health protocols must be practiced by all users at all times. It is the responsibility of all permit holders to ensure health protocols and guidelines are followed. Requests for booking space will be received through rentals@newtecumseth.ca.

The town is looking to open the Tottenham Conservation Area to campers for July and August. However, given the provincial health directives, washroom facilities will be opened, however, shower facilities will not be. Also, those wishing to swim and use the beach area at the Tottenham Conservation Area are now permitted to do so. All users of the TCA and any and all permitted outdoor recreation amenities, must follow all health protocols which include maintaining physical distancing of at least two metres (six feet), wash and/or sanitize hands frequently and staying home when ill.

“I encourage everyone to be responsible and continue to follow public health advice, including physical distancing of at least two metres, when enjoying our outdoor amenities,” Milne said.

At this time, all recreation centres, the Administration Centre, Joint Operations Centre and the Museum on the Boyne remain closed to the public. All playgrounds, play structures and outdoor fitness equipment also remains closed.

Photo: “We are excited to be looking at the possibility of opening our splash pads throughout the community to help keep you cool this summer, should we be able to do so safely,” said Milne. 

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