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Calgary playgrounds to open ahead of schedule after coronavirus closures

Calgary playgrounds will begin opening Friday as the city pulls the caution tape enveloping them for the past two-plus months during coronavirus

The announcement to open the city’s more than 1,100 parks was made in Thursday’s City of Calgary coronavirus briefing.

“With warm weather in the forecast, and knowing the value these amenities provides to Calgarians, Calgary parks have been able to advance its timing around reopening,” said Calgary Emergency Management Agency Deputy Chief, Sue Henry.

Playgrounds will open May 29 instead of the prescribed June 1 date, but it will take the city until June 3 to get them all open. They will start with regional parks first, like Bowness and Riley Parks, and then get to the community parks, Henry said.

As a part of the reopening, the city’s parks crews will also be inspecting the playgrounds.

Users are asked not to tear down the caution tape on their own. If it’s still up, parks crews haven’t got to the park for inspection yet.

“You will know that a playground is open when you see a couple of things. You’ll see the closure sign removed, and you’ll see some signs reminding what safety of the playground looks like,” Henry said.

She said Calgarians need to stay cautious and remember public health guidelines. These are high touch areas, she said, and hand need to be sanitized before and after use.

Playgrounds not risk-free said Mayor Nenshi

Calgary Mayor Naheed Nenshi said if parents are expecting to go to the playgrounds when they open, it would be a great chance to download the province’s TraceTogether app.

He said if you’re out in a place where there are a lot of people you don’t know, if there’s community spread you’ll be notified and Alberta Health can put an outbreak plan in place.

“I want to remind parents… that, while the playgrounds open, this is not a risk-free activity,” he said.

Clean hands, wipes down surfaces, remind people of social distancing and wash hands before you play, after you play and then when you get home, he said.

“I’m happy they’re opening; I’ve heard from so many parents that’s the one thing they need,” Mayor Nenshi said.