Life gets closer to normal as activities reopen
With the flattening of the COVID-19 curve, Gatineau has resumed a number of municipal services and activities.
Public pools and beaches
The city’s outdoor pools and paddling pools effectively opened on June 20. The decision was to allow families to cool down during times of extremely hot temperature. Capacities at the city’s seven outdoor swimming pools and eight paddling pools will be reduced by 30 per cent - 30 to 50 people – and people must respect provincial public health guidelines.
To allow regular disinfection of pools, swimming sessions will be capped at 45 minutes. The city will implement several sanitary measures in each of its facilities to keep people safe, including asking swimmers hygiene-related questions when they arrive for a session, providing hand-sanitizer at entrances and hiring extra staff. Dressing rooms will remain closed, meaning that participants must arrive at facilities dressed in their swimming gear.
People are advised to be hygienically responsible by washing their hands upon arrival. Showers before swimming will be mandatory and social distancing between all participants must be respected. The use of masks or snorkels in the water will be prohibited, while swimming goggles are recommended. Sharing of items will only be permitted for people living in the same house.
The city’s beaches remain closed for the time being. But its 32 splash pads are open every day until 8 pm. On June 22, the city’s three beaches, including Parc des Cèdres, officially opened – continuing the Quebec government’s gradual resumption of activities.
In a press release issued on June 15, the city announced the gradual reopening of its libraries, noting that the service would still be offered without social contact. It stated that services would be back in effect for six libraries, as of June 18, including the Lucy-Faris library. Along with a number of safety measures in place to protect library users and employees, such as social distancing, it stated that library shelves would remain inaccessible for the time being.
Members are asked to reserve books in advance by using the city’s catalog or by calling (819) 595-7460, and they will be notified when the order is ready to pick up at a library’s loan counter.
For people aged 70 and up, libraries will offer home delivery. The city also extended due dates for new loans for an additional week, noting that hard copy and audio books can be borrowed for 28 days, and video games, DVDs, CDs, board games and magazines for fourteen days.
As a safety precaution, all documents will be put in quarantine for 72-hour cycles before being put back in the rental section. Digital documents and online services remain always operational, and the city has added 728 titles to its selection of digital books.
Municipal buildings, including libraries had been closed to public access since March 13 because of the coronavirus.
Yard sales permitted
On June 15, the city announced in a press release that residents could once again engage in yard sales. People are invited to host yard sales on their properties as long as they follow provincial public health recommendations, including two-metre social distancing, and as long as gatherings are of no more than 10 people. The city’s rules regarding yard sales are available on their website.
Summer camp registrations extended
With spots still up for grabs and plenty of families still looking for plans this summer, Gatineau has extended the registration period for its day camps until June 28. According to a press release issued on June 17, camps will go from July 6 until August 20 and will be adapted to the Quebec government’s COVID-19 safety standards.
Day camp registrations can be accessed via the following link - https://ludik.ville.gatineau.qc.ca/LudikIC2Prod_EnLigne/Pages/Anonyme/Recherche/Page.fr.aspx?m=1.
Parc des Cèdres
With sunny weather bringing extreme popularity to Parc des Cèdres this spring, the city has put in place a number of measures to ensure people respect social distancing on the grounds. According to a press release issued on June 17, city personnel have intervened more than 2,000 times to remind people to follow proper safety guidelines at the park.
Among other things, the city will trace circles on the ground to create zones to facilitate social distancing. Families will be able to gather in their respective circles. Signs with safety guidelines will be installed throughout the park and at its access points to remind users. The bike path will also feature signs reminding people to distance themselves from others in the same lane. The city installed around 30 signs promoting social distancing in the park in April, and police patrolling and municipal surveillance of the area have also been extended.