The RDCK is working on COVID-19 protocols for events, but in the meantime there will be no spectators. File photo.

The RDCK is working on COVID-19 protocols for events, but in the meantime there will be no spectators. File photo.

No spectators allowed at events in RDCK facilities until further notice

There are exceptions for adults with essential role in youth sports

Submitted by the Regional District of Central Kootenay

On Oct. 30, the B.C. provincial health officer updated its guidelines on gatherings and events.

Those guidelines outline the safety requirements for allowing a maximum of 50 patrons to attend events. These requirements are extensive in order to ensure the safety of our communities.

The Regional District of Central Kootenay (RDCK), as well as other local municipalities throughout the region and across the province, are working through the British Columbia Recreation and Parks Association to create effective protocols that can be implemented in our arenas, meeting rooms and other public indoor gathering spaces to meet public health requirements. Until this work is completed, the RDCK will not permit patrons at any event held at its facilities. A patron is defined as an individual who is not essential to the event taking place, such as a spectator.

In the interim the RDCK has adopted some best practices to keep the community safe and our youth active:

· Sport organizations can allow one responsible adult per participant if required to assist with the event for children under nine years of age (for hockey this is U9 and lower) as per their COVID-19 Safety Plan;

· Sport organizations can allow four responsible adults per team if required to assist with the event for children older than nine, but younger than 11 (U11);

· Sport organizations can allow one responsible adult for any participant who requires special assistance in order to participate;

· These responsible adults will be deemed essential personnel: volunteers with a role in conducting the event, game or practice/training session.

“We understand the impact and frustration of our user groups in meeting the requirements of the Provincial Health Officer for gatherings and events,” said Craig Stanley, manager of recreation at the Creston and District Community Complex and Chair of the RDCK arena re-opening committee.

“We must all take responsibility and do our part for the safety of all and continually focus our efforts to help stop the spread of COVID-19.”

The RDCK has been working with other local governments and event organizers in the Kootenays, including minor hockey associations, junior hockey teams and other user groups to create a common set of guidelines that are consistent from facility to facility. It is imperative that all facility users follow the policies and procedures laid out by each facility. Face coverings must be worn at all times in RDCK facilities, except in the field of play.

Recreation and park services continue to be reviewed regularly as new information and protocols become available. For the most up-to-date information on RDCK facilities and its COVID-19 safety plans, please go to www.rdck.ca/recreation.