City of Edmonton to reopen some city arenas Thursday

The City of Edmonton will reopen select arenas, sport and aquatic facilities at several city-operated centres this week.

With eased COVID-19 restrictions in place, city manager Andre Corbould said Wednesday that the following five arenas will reopen to school groups and other sports organizations on Thursday.

  • Terwillegar 4-pad arena
  • Callingwood twin arena
  • Castle Downs twin arena
  • The Meadows twin arena
  • Kinsmen twin arena
  • Kinsmen Sports Centre — dryland training and aquatics

Depending on demand, the city said the Clareview and Mill Woods twin arenas will reopen on Feb. 16, as well as dryland training at St. Francis Xavier.

Read more: COVID-19: What you can and cannot do in Alberta on Monday, Feb. 8

Additional facilities may be relaunched as user demand warrants, Corbould said.

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The city said it doesn’t want to open up facilities that won’t be well used. At this point, fitness facilities within recreation centres will not reopen due to the province’s Step 1 restrictions that only allow for one-on-one indoor fitness training.

Corbould said physical distancing, masking and gathering limits at these facilities remain in effect.

Read more: Coronavirus: Edmonton to close city-run recreation facilities Saturday night

The City of Edmonton closed its rec centres to the public on Dec. 12, 2020, when COVID-19 restrictions were tightened across Alberta.

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Virtual fitness classes, such as Zumba, Yoga, Tabata and Bootcamp were still offered to Edmontonians online.

The City of Calgary announced earlier Wednesday that it will reopen six sheets of ice and four pools for bookings. The ice bookings will be available starting Thursday, while the pools will reopen on Feb. 22.

Read more: Officials looking at whether it makes sense to keep City of Edmonton rec centres open

Demand for space at Edmonton Convention Centre

The city said there has been high demand at the Edmonton Convention Centre, which has been operating as temporary shelter for the city’s most vulnerable amid the pandemic.

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Corbould said Wednesday that Tipinawaw, the temporary accommodation set up at the Edmonton Convention Centre, sees about 350 people using the facility each day.

Read more: How the Bent Arrow Traditional Healing Society used Cree language to bring home missing man

The Mustard Seed opened additional spaces for the city’s homeless.

Corbould said city administration believes the spaces currently available in the city are adequate.

COVID-19 cases in Edmonton zone

As of Tuesday afternoon, there were 1,748 active cases of COVID-19 in the Edmonton zone, 1,384 of which were within city limits.

So far, a total of 34 variant cases of COVID-19 have been identified in the Edmonton zone. Alberta has recorded 104 total cases of COVID-19 variants.

Corbould said while health data in the Edmonton area is “trending in the right direction,” he also noted “COVID-19 variants may become another threat to manage.”

Click to play video 'COVID:19 Alberta minor hockey players return to the ice' COVID:19 Alberta minor hockey players return to the ice

COVID:19 Alberta minor hockey players return to the ice

City of Edmonton enforcement of COVID-19 bylaws

Since the City of Edmonton’s mandatory mask bylaw came into effect on Aug. 1, 2020, the city has issued 334 tickets and 5,447 warnings. Of those, 26 tickets and 145 warnings were issued in the first week of February 2021.

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Overall compliance of the mask bylaw is at about 98 per cent, the city said Wednesday.

Twenty-four tickets and 350 warnings have been issued for other infractions under the Public Health Act since Aug. 1, 2020. Of those, four tickets and 20 warnings have been issued in the first week of this month.

The city said its officers continue to focus on education when it comes to Edmontonians who aren’t following the mask bylaw.

“Officers will often offer a mask as a first response. If these tactics do not work, enforcement and fines are considered. Enforcement has been ramped up at different phases throughout the pandemic,” the city said.

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