People should wear masks as much as possible when they are outside their homes. It is an additional barrier. You don’t know if you are going to come into close contact with someoneDr. Vera Etches said in a CBC radio interview on Wednesday.
The outside is much safer than the inside, but if you are right next to someone, you can inhale their respiratory secretions.
According to the head of Ottawa Public Health (SPO), recent data relating to the COVID-19 pandemic justifies additional measures to curb the bleeding.
The numbers are high now, possibly higher than they have ever been since the start of the pandemic. We are in a situation that requires stronger protections, she argued.
On Tuesday, Dr. Etches announced new, stricter rules governing winter activities outside of Ottawa. Among these measures, a limit of 25 people will be imposed for certain winter recreation, particularly on skating rinks, outdoor trails, ski trails and common areas such as parking lots.
For ski hills, for example, a maximum of 25 people will be tolerated at the top and bottom of the slopes.
These restrictions come into effect Wednesday.
For the moment, there is no question of punishing the refractory, but the operators of outdoor recreational sites concerned will have to install signs reminding the measures of physical distancing.
John Rapp is the Executive Director of the Dovercourt Recreation Association, which notably operates two rinks in Ottawa.
The latter indicates that it happens that the rinks are supervised by personnel who remind us of the instructions, but that this is not always the case.
When staff are not around, we just rely on the public to stay within city limits, note M. Rapp.
But the purpose of the operation is not to issue tickets, says the chief medical officer of Ottawa Public Health.
We need to help people understand what is allowed and why: what are the restrictions for their protection and that of others, explains Dr. Etches.
The Rideau Canal Skateway is not yet open to the public, but should be soon. The National Capital Commission (CCN) has not yet given specific details on how it intends to deal with the new measures in place. She plans to make the experience safe, she said.
We will adjust our offer on the rink when it opens in order to adapt to the Ottawa Public Health measures in effect at that time. Signs indicating the measures to be observed are also in place. At all times, the CCN informs and reminds the public about the measures in place to be observed in the context of COVID-19, indicated the CCN in a written response on Wednesday.
A limit of 10 people on the Clarence-Rockland rinks
In addition, the City of Ottawa is not alone in being concerned about outdoor activities during these times of pandemic. The City of Clarence-Rockland, in eastern Ontario, also recalled certain recommendations in this regard this week, after noting the traffic in certain places.
Our challenge is that we have two slopes, and one of them is extremely popular. The display of health measures is there. This is not a problem at the moment, but it could become. We will have to re-evaluate as we go says Jean-Luc Jubinville, director of community services for the City of Clarence-Rockland.
The City of Clarence-Rockland has eight outdoor rinks on its territory, which are not open, but which should welcome its first skaters in the coming days.
Mr. Jubinville indicates that the limit will be 10 people on the ice.
We really follow the guidelines of the Eastern Ontario Health Unit (BSEO) […]. We put a limit of 10 per outdoor rink throughout the municipality. People will also have to respect social distancing, and the health unit also recommended that we remove the hockey nets., he explains.
The Director of Community Services for the City of Clarence-Rockland hopes that the upcoming opening of the outdoor rinks will relieve congestion at the municipality’s sliding sites.
With information from Estelle Côté-Sroka, Nafi Alibert and CBC.