To prevent the spread of COVID-19, the following safety measures are in place at City facilities:
- Physical distancing of 2 metres is required at all times all users not living in the same household or in their social circle.
- Plexiglass shields installed at customer service desks to protect workers and users
- Directional signage to manage traffic flow
- Room capacities have been reduced to accommodate social distancing requirements
- Additional hand sanitizing stations are available and frequent handwashing is encouraged
- Upon arrival both staff and users are required to complete a self-assessment for COVID-19 symptoms before being authorized access to the site
- Clients will need to conduct a health screening and assumption of risk upon arrival at the facility
- Entry to the building is denied to anyone who presents as a risk based on the self-assessment questionnaire
- Enhanced cleaning and disinfecting protocols have been implemented
- Additional COVID-19 specific training has been provided for all staff
- Air dryer use, including personal dryers, are not permitted at indoor facilities and changerooms to mitigate the spread of COVID-19.
Wearing a mask in City facilities
Masks are required when entering the facility, in common areas, lobbies, washrooms, changerooms and hallways as per the Temporary Mandatory Mask By-Law.
We require that all clients wear masks while participating in our programs. Only the following programs, activities and individuals are exempt from the mask requirement:
- Swimming: masks may be removed when entering the water but are required in other areas of the building.
- Exercising: when actively engaged in athletic or physical activity.
- Lifeguarding: when on deck and actively monitoring the pool.
- Sporting associations renting out City facilities: while actively engaged in high-intensity sports training and maintaining the 2-metre distancing requirement.
- Children under the age of 5 years chronologically or developmentally, who refuses to wear a mask and cannot be persuaded to do so by their caregiver.
- Individuals with medical conditions or disabilities rendering them unable to safely wear a mask.
- Individuals who are unable to put on or remove their mask without assistance.
Those who are exempt need to advise staff at the entrance during the screening process and let us know how they meet one of the exceptions listed above. They may be asked to use a face shield if their circumstance allows.
All other City of Ottawa programs not listed above, require clients to wear masks throughout participation with the goal of preventing transmission and reduce the number of COVID-19 cases.
Additional safety measures at City pools
When you come to an aquatic facility, you’re going to notice several changes we have made to ensure we live up to our commitment to keep everyone safe, including:
- Saunas, steam rooms, whirlpools, diving boards, rope swings, and water slides will be closed
- We encourage swimmers to use goggles, snorkels will not be allowed
- Swimmers are encouraged to bring their own equipment for their use only, only life jackets and PFD’s will be available for loaning at the facility
- Clients are asked to keep their personal items to a minimum
- Swimmers may keep their cloth face masks on until they enter the pool
- Traffic measures will be implemented around the pools and entry and exit will be staggered so crowding doesn’t occur
- Swimmers at outdoor pools will enter and exit through a gate and not through the facility
- Viewing areas will be either closed or their capacity reduced, to allow for proper physical distancing
- Parents or guardians who are not accompanying their child in the pool for swimming lessons are encouraged to wait outside the facility
- Swimmers of the same household may swim together in one lane during lane swim, if available at the pool.
- Only essential equipment will be provided for use on deck, and equipment will be disinfected between users (i.e. lifejackets)
- Equipment that is not regularly in contact with chlorinated water will be disinfected every 4 hours at minimum
Do your part to slow the spread by:
- Showering at home before going to the pool.
- Wearing your bathing suit to the pool.
- Practice personal COVID-19 hygiene – washing or sanitizing your hands, staying home if you are ill.
Additional safety measures at fitness centres
- Physical distancing of 3 metres is required at all times
- Some workout stations or cardio equipment will be closed to ensure physical distancing
- Clients will receive an individual bottle of sanitizer to wipe down equipment after each use
- Clients must arrive in their workout attire as change rooms are closed at some locations
- Showers will also remain closed at this time
- Clients are asked to keep their personal items to a minimum
- Clients are encouraged to bring their own refillable water bottle
- High touch-point equipment will not be available for use:
- Foam rollers
- Medicine balls
- Stability balls
- Skipping ropes
- Yoga mats/blocks/straps/tune-up balls
- Fans (except for venting out)
- Rowing machines
- Aerodyne bikes
Additional safety measures at City arenas
To prevent the spread of COVID-19, the following safety measures have been implemented at City operated arenas:
- Participant access to the arena is granted 20 minutes prior to the booking start time
- Children age 10 and under must be accompanied by one parent or guardian – on-ice or in the stands. A ratio of 1:1 participant to parent or guardian will be permitted in the arena for the supervision of children under the age of 18-year-old, to a maximum of 25 parents or guardians.
- No spectators are permitted except for a parent or guardian.
- Limited capacity in change rooms
- Designated skate tying areas outside dressing rooms
- Showers are off limits at this time
- Water fountains should be limited to bottle filling only
- Players are encouraged to arrive dressed in as much equipment as possible
Ottawa Public Health states that the risk of serious illness from COVID-19 increases progressively with age, particularly beyond 50 to 60 years. In addition to increasing age, people of any age who have serious underlying medical conditions (cardiovascular, high blood pressure, diabetes, chronic lung, chronic liver, cancer, immunocompromise) or severe obesity are at higher risk for severe illness. Every individual needs to take into account their personal risk factors when making decisions about going out.