The City of Quesnel plans to open the West Fraser Centre’s arena 2 Sept. 14, followed by the West Fraser Centre Arena on Sept. 21. (Lindsay Chung photo - Quesnel Cariboo Observer)

City of Quesnel plans staggered approach to reopening West Fraser Centre arenas

Ice will be open to youth groups Sept. 14 in Arena 2, and Sept. 21 in the West Fraser Centre Arena

The City of Quesnel will implement a phased reopening of the West Fraser Centre’s ice in Quesnel as fall and winter approach.

As part of its phased reopening of services and facilities impacted by COVID-19, the City will be reopening the West Fraser Centre Arena and Arena 2 in a staggered approach, first allowing youth groups to book ice time as of mid-September, followed by adults in early October.

The reopening schedule will see Arena 2 open Sept. 14 to youth user groups only, followed by a Sept. 21 opening of the West Fraser Centre Arena to youth groups only, as well.

On Oct. 5 adult groups may start to book the ice.

Jeff Norburn, director of community services with the City, said the ice is normally installed by mid August, however, due to COVID-19, there wasn’t enough expressed interest to warrant installing the ice at that time.

“We’re trying to balance the needs of user groups with the costs of operating the facility,” Norburn said. “We met with minor hockey and agreed to get the ice in … basically get the first arena up and running, followed by the second and focus on youth groups first.”

READ MORE: Quesnel’s West Fraser Centre, Arts and Recreation Centre closing today

He said, initially, there will not be public skating as the city’s phased approach is focusing on youth user groups, then adult user groups, followed by gradually adding additional services under COVID-19 health guidelines.

All groups planning to use the facility must have a Return to Play or COVID-19 Safety Plan before they will be permitted on the ice.

Eligible organizations may book ice time for activities that conform to provincial directives on physical distancing, avoiding prolonged and intentional contact and gathering restrictions.

Physical distancing occupancy limits have been posted throughout the arenas to indicate how many people can be in an area at one time, and all visitors and guests are being asked to follow several actions to help prevent the spread of COVID-19:

• Groups/players should come dressed in gear if possible

• Bring and clean your own equipment. Avoid sharing equipment unless you are in the same household.

• Do not share water bottles and towels.

• Arrive no more than 15 minutes before your booking time.

• Practice physical distancing in spectator areas; spectator stands will be limited, but will be disinfected between bookings.

• Leave the location as soon as your activities end to reduce overlap of bookings.

• Practice physical distancing and ensure to remain two metres apart whenever possible.

• Stay home if you are sick.

• Wash your hands frequently and thoroughly.

In addition to no public skating to being with, the walking tack and concessions will also remain closed when the arenas open.

Norburn said as things progress additional services may be opened int he coming weeks based on changing circumstances and the direction of public health officials surround the coronavirus pandemic.

Bookings, meanwhile, can be made by calling 250-992-7125.

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