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Further Restrictions to Outdoor Recreation Amenities

The Leeds, Grenville and Lanark District Health Unit has detected a significant increase in cases of COVID-19 in the past week in our community. A high proportion of the new cases are COVID-19 Variants of Concern (VOC) – mostly the B.1.1.7 variant (first identified in the UK). This variant is able to spread more easily with close contact between people. The Town of Carleton Place has a responsibility to do its part to assist in stopping the spread of COVID-19. Reducing close contact outside of one’s household is essential to prevent the spread of the COVID-19 virus, including avoiding all social gatherings.

Although recreational amenities are permitted to be open,  anyone who uses the amenity must maintain a physical distance of at least two (2) metres from any other person using the amenity.  Unfortunately, we cannot ensure this will occur and after further consultation and guidance from our Medical Officer of Health, the Town of Carleton Place is implementing further restrictions to outdoor recreation amenities to assist in stopping the spread of COVID-19 in Carleton Place.

Parks
Playgrounds are an unavoidable gathering place due to the general nature of the playground equipment. With the recently announced stay-at-home order, the Town of Carleton Place will be closing all playground equipment within our parks until the gathering restrictions have been lifted.

Dog Parks
Dog Parks are a potential gathering place since patrons typically socialize while their dogs play. In adhering to the current gathering restrictions, the Town of Carleton Place is restricting the capacity to five (5) patrons at one time. Patrons may take turns using the dog park and walking along nearby trails in order to ensure safe physical distancing with fellow patrons.

Pump Track / Skate Park
The Pump Track / Skate Park is an unavoidable gathering place due to the popularity of this amenity. Prior to the stay-at-home order, the Town had hoped to keep this amenity open with further restrictions. However, due to the current situation, the Pump Track / Skate Park will remain closed until the stay-at-home order has been lifted.

The Town of Carleton Place is very fortunate to have a paved pathway through Town that can be used for outdoor exercise and play. Families are encouraged to take advantage of the other outdoor amenities in Town, including five (5) nature trails, and 20 neighbourhood parks with green space that can be utilized for outdoor exercise and play. Residents are reminded that they must always remain 6ft/2m apart from individuals not within their household, and mask wearing is strongly encouraged.

“While I can understand the public’s frustration with recent messaging regarding the stay-at-home order, I respectfully ask for the public’s support in all doing our part to curb the spread of these increasingly contagious COVID variants” states Mayor Black.  “Staff are in regular contact with the LGL Health Unit, and the bottom line is our community is currently in a serious situation.”