Outdoor Recreational Amenities Open for Household Members Only

Written by Comms Team, May 21, 2021

Provincial Shutdown and Stay-at-Home Order Still in Effect

On Thursday May 20, the province announced a positive step forward in our fight against the COVID-19 third wave. Starting Saturday, May 22 at 12:01 a.m., some outdoor recreational amenities, such as soccer fields, tennis courts, and outdoor fitness equipment will be opening. The opening of these spaces will provide more areas for our local residents to get outside, be active, and reap the positive mental health benefits from engaging with our natural environment.

Local residents are reminded that the Stay-at-Home Order is still in effect until June 2, 2021. This means that outdoor recreational amenities that are open, can only be used for essential reasons listed in the Stay-at-Home Order. Anyone using a recreational amenity for a permitted reason must:

  • Keep a physical distance of at least two metres from any other person who is using the amenity;
    • This does not require people who are all members of the same household or one other person from outside that household who lives alone or a caregiver for any member of the household to maintain a physical distance of at least two metres from each other while in the amenity.
  • Not practice or play team sports;
  • Not practice or play sports or games that could result in individuals coming within two metres of each other.

Since the provincial Stay-at-Home Order came into effect, Ontario COVID-19 cases have slowly declined. Unfortunately, this trend has not been observed as broadly across the Peterborough region and the local case incidence rate has increased in the past week to 63 cases per 100,000 from 45 cases per 100,000 the week prior. Additionally, there have typically been increases in local COVID-19 cases after each holiday weekend. Dr. Salvaterra is seeking the support of the community to hang in there just a little while longer. “Once again, I am reminding residents that they must celebrate this long weekend with immediate household members only. Gatherings and parties are not permitted and if you find yourself in a situation with others, for instance, walking on a busy trail, please remember to maintain physical distancing of at least two metres and wear a mask if distancing is difficult.”

Research indicates that the transmission of COVID-19 can be up to 18 times higher in indoor settings compared to outdoor settings. However, outdoor settings do not come without risk. Ultimately, it is the activities that take place in outdoor settings that determine overall risk level. “Outdoor gatherings with minimal distancing and no mask use, sharing food, and car pooling to outdoor activities are all factors that put an individual at more risk and must be avoided,” said Julie Ingram, Manager of Environmental Health.

While warm temperatures are in the forecast for this weekend, this region is not expected to reach the threshold required to issuing a heat warning. While it is tempting to cool off at the local beach, the PPH recreational water testing program has not started. This means that residents are encouraged to take precautions to stay cool such as wearing loose-fitting clothing, avoiding the direct sun, and cooling your living space by keeping lights off or low, and blinds or curtains drawn. If you are going to be outdoors, remember to practice sun, tick, and mosquito safety by wearing a hat, as well as sun and tick protective clothing and applying bug spray that contains DEET and SPF 30+ sunscreen.

For more information, please visit www.peterboroughpublichealth.ca.


For further information, please contact:
Brittany Cadence
Communications Manager
705-743-1000, ext. 391