More facilities in Winnipeg to reopen in July
Winnipeg City Hall
WINNIPEG -- The City of Winnipeg is planning to reopen more facilities in July that were closed due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
At a news conference Tuesday afternoon, Mayor Brian Bowman along with Jay Shaw, who is with the city's emergency operations centre, announced the city will begin recalling approximately 195 Community Services Department employees to help bring the services back. The city previously recalled 400 employees in June.
Shaw said so far the city has recalled almost 700 workers and the remaining jobs are transit and community service staff.
The city said in late July and early August, all library branches will partially reopen, except for the Cornish Library, which is currently closed for renovations. The libraries will be open for holds pick-up service, phone reference service and to return borrowed library materials. The city will announce reopening dates and hours of operation in the coming weeks.
For those who are wondering when full services will resume, Shaw said there is no confirmed date for that yet.
"What we're trying to do is balance out the needs for safety of our staff and the public," said Shaw. "I will strongly encourage you to continue to think about the new normal. Based on public health orders and where we are going, we need to be able to monitor as we get passed the Summer and into the Fall."
He added that with the new normal, some of the changes might be more permanent as the city moves forward.
The city will also reopen the Pan Am Pool and the Cindy Klassen Recreation Complex on July 20. The two facilities will operate with limited access to the pools, walking tracks, and fitness equipment.
For those who are concerned about how people will social distance at these areas, Shaw said staff will be there to help enforce the rules.
"On occasion, someone forgets or maybe doesn't understand the rules, the staff are trained on how to approach those situations and generally what we find is when we tell someone 'hey we want you to stand here or there is a lineup' people are more than willing to comply. Everyone's chipping in," said Shaw.
He added that, for the most part, Winnipeggers have been very good at following the health guidelines.
Residents will have to register for swimming and fitness blocks, similar to current rules regarding outdoor pools. Details on registration will be released closer to reopening the city said.
Shaw said it is important that people book these swim and fitness blocks.
"I continue to encourage you to pre-register to avoid disappointment at the gates if the pools are full."