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New Provincial Health Requirements Announced at Indoor Town Recreation Facilities

(November 22, 2021– Ponoka, Alberta) – In consultation with provincial public health officials and in accordance with provincial COVID-19 regulations and requirements, the Town of Ponoka is implementing the following changes, beginning Tuesday, November 23, at its indoor recreation facilities, including the Hudson’s Green Nature and Activity Centre:

  • The Arena and Aquaplex will return to operating at one third of fire code capacity for youth programming. Spectators will be required to wear masks and maintain physical distancing from other households;  
  • Adult programming doesn’t change. It will continue to follow the provincial Restrictions Exemption Program (REP). Adult sport participants and spectators (12 and up) will continue to be required to show: proof of vaccination (QR code), or a negative, privately-paid COVID-19 test result received within 72 hours before the activity, or a valid medical exemption document along with a government-issued personal identification. 
  • Some activities will be rescheduled at the Arena and Aquaplex so that youth and adult programming occur at different times with no overlap to comply with provincial health requirements. This is being done to ensure that when adult programming occurs, the REP is in effect throughout the facility, and when youth programming occurs, the one-third fire code capacity requirement is in effect facility-wide;
  • Youth programming groups can request implementation of the REP at indoor Town recreation facilities for tournaments and other special events;
  • The food concession at the Arena will be closed and eating will not be permitted by spectators at the Arena or Aquaplex; and
  • Drop-in activities, such as public swimming and public skating, will operate at one third of fire code capacity. Public skating will resume in December. More details will be announced soon.

Providing the Greatest Benefit for Citizens

“Council and Town Administration have been working diligently behind the scenes with both the provincial government and Alberta Health Services toward the ultimate goal of ensuring the greatest number of our citizens can enjoy the use of our facilities while still protecting the health and safety of our community. We believe these latest changes achieve that balance,” said Ponoka Mayor Kevin Ferguson. 

Masking is Mandatory

Masking with an approved face covering is mandatory and will be enforced for all visitors at the Town’s indoor recreation facilities (unless they are participating in a sport activity). In keeping with current provincial health regulations and guidelines, visitors to indoor Town recreation facilities will also continue to be required to use available hand sanitizer and physically distance from those in other households. Please stay home if you are feeling unwell or experiencing COVID-19 symptoms. 

Adult Programming (18 years of age and older)

Adult programming, including fitness classes, will remain status quo under the REP and will operate at full capacity. Adult sport participants and spectators (12 and up) will continue to be required to show: proof of vaccination (QR code), or a negative, privately-paid COVID-19 test result received within 72 hours before attending the activity, or a valid medical exemption document along with a government-issued personal ID. Wearing an approved face covering is mandatory.

Youth Programming (under the age of 18)

All youth under 18 will continue not being required to show proof of vaccination when participating in sport or recreation activities at the Aquaplex or Arena. Youth programming will follow one third fire code capacity requirements for spectators. Wearing an approved face covering is mandatory.

Outdoor Facilities

All parks, trails, playgrounds, soccer fields, baseball diamonds and outdoor rinks in Ponoka remain open for the public to enjoy with no new changes in place. Citizens are encouraged to continue following provincial health regulations and guidelines to protect themselves and others against the spread of COVID-19 while using outdoor Town facilities by doing the following:

  • Get vaccinated as soon as possible;
  • Use good hygiene practices, such as frequent handwashing or hand sanitizing;
  • Cover coughs and sneezes;
  • Stay at least two metres from others who aren’t part of your cohort or live in your home; and
  • Stay at home if you are feeling unwell.

If you have any questions about COVID-19 regulations at Town of Ponoka facilities, please phone the Town Office at 403-783-4431.

For more information on current provincial health regulations and how to protect yourself and others from COVID-19, please visit www.alberta.ca/COVID19.