Media Release: Smiths Falls to lift restrictions for some outdoor recreation, new provincial framework announced
May 21, 2021
In response to changes to provincial restrictions, the Town of Smiths Falls is pleased to announce the lifting of restrictions for municipal outdoor recreation assets, effective Saturday, May 22, 2021.
“After five weeks of stay at home orders, we’re pleased to be able to reopen these outdoor recreation assets,” said Mayor Shawn Pankow. “As we move into the long weekend we expect users of these locations to conform to public health recommendations for physical distancing and hand washing, and we encourage the public to register to receive their vaccine as soon as possible.”
Beginning Saturday, May 22, 2021, the following recreation locations will be available for use in Smiths Falls:
- Soccer and other sports fields
- Tennis courts
- Basketball courts
- Skate parks
- Outdoor fitness equipment
- Gerry Lowe Memorial Rink (basketball courts)
Washroom facilities will be open at Lower Reach Park between 10 a.m. and 7 p.m. and Murphy Park between 11 a.m. and 8 p.m. Washrooms will be cleaned on a rotating basis and will not be open during cleaning times.
Use of any of these locations is permitted so long as physical distancing of at least two metres is maintained at all times with those outside your household.
In addition to the reopening of these locations, the outdoor limits for social gatherings and organized public events will be expanded to five people, either from within the same household or from different households.
New provincial reopening framework announced
The province of Ontario has released a new framework, Roadmap to Reopen, a three-step plan to reopen the province. This new framework has shifted from a case or hospitalization rate basis to be focused on vaccination rates across the province.
The following steps were announced:
- Step 1: A focus on outdoor activities, gatherings of up to 10 people, outdoor dining and non-essential retail at 15 per cent capacity.
- Step 2: Expansion of outdoor activities and limited indoor services with restricted numbers.
- Step 3: Expansion of indoor settings, with restrictions, and in situations where face coverings can’t always be worn.
Each step will remain in place for 21 days to more accurately evaluate the impacts.
Step one will occur after 60 per cent of adults have been vaccinated with one dose; step two will occur after 70 per cent of adults have been vaccinated with one dose and 20 per cent vaccinated with two doses; step three will occur after 70 to 80 per cent of adults have been vaccinated with one dose and 25 per cent vaccinated with two doses.
The Town of Smiths Falls’ Emergency Control Group will continue to provide updates to provincial orders as changes are made, and the Community Emergency Management Coordinator will continue to work in conjunction with the Leeds Grenville Lanark District Health Unit.
COVID-19 and the long weekend
As the COVID-19 pandemic continues, please keep in mind that it’s up to all of us to keep our community safe. Remember to continue to:
- Stay home when feeling unwell.
- Avoid touching your eyes, nose and mouth.
- Observe physical distancing rules and maintaining at least two metres between yourself and others at all times.
- Wear a cloth face covering indoors or when maintaining distance is difficult.
- Practice good hand hygiene, carrying hand wipes or hand sanitizer at all times.
As of May 18, 2021 all those over the age of 18 are able to book a vaccine appointment through the provincial system (online or phone) or through the Leeds Grenville & Lanark District Health Unit. To use the provincial online booking tool please visit www.ontario.ca/bookvaccine or call 1-888-999-6488. You can also book through the Leeds Grenville & Lanark booking centre at 1-844-369-1234.
The Town of Smiths Falls offers resources for businesses and residents on its COVID-19 resource page at https://www.smithsfalls.ca/public-safety/covid-19-coronavirus/
For more information about changes to provincial restrictions, please visit the province of Ontario media release at https://news.ontario.ca/en/release/1000161/ontario-releases-three-step-roadmap-to-safely-reopen-the-province
For further information, please contact:
Town of Smiths Falls
77 Beckwith St N, Smiths Falls, ON K7A 2B8
613-283-4124 ext. 1110