Starting Monday, September 14th, non-medical masks or face coverings will be required when entering and moving around common areas in all of the Regional District of Central Kootenay’s (RDCK) recreational facilities.

“We are looking forward to inviting users back into our facilities to take part in more programming and arena sports,” said Joe Chirico, General Manager of Community Services. “While we are re-opening only certain areas of recreation, we want all users to know that we have not forgotten about you and are working steadily to be able to offer more programs and services safely during these COVID-19 times.”

The RDCK is implementing the rules for masks and face coverings as they get set to open the Nelson, Castlegar, and Creston’s District Community Complexes on Monday as well.

MORE: RDCK announces reopening of regional rinks (Aug. 21, 2020)

“It is important to take a phased approach to ensure the safety of our staff and our patrons,” added Chirico.

Despite the new mask guideline, the RDCK said masks are not required in the indoor facilities when exercising or performing other means of physical activity.

According to the regional district, there are other exemptions when face coverings are not required:

  • A medical professional has advised that wearing a mask may pose a health risk to or impair an individual
  • Wearing a mask would create a health or safety risk to the wearer as determined by federal, provincial, or local regulators or Occupational Health and Safety (OHS) guidelines
  • An individual is physically unable to put on or take off the mask without assistance
  • An individual has trouble breathing or cannot remove the mask without help
  • An individual is deaf or hard of hearing and relies on facial and mouth movements to receive communication
  • An individual is a baby or toddler under two years of age

 The RDCK also released the following tips and tricks for wearing a mask or face covering in their facilities:

  • Correct face mask use
    • Make sure the mask completely covers the mouth and nose
    • Put on the mask properly using the tie loops or elastic bands that secure behind your head
    • Wear the mask snug around the face and adjust it as necessary throughout the day
    • When taking off our mask and putting it down
      • Place it with the outside down on a tissue
      • If a tissue is not available, clean the surface on which you placed it down afterward
    • Wash hands and face after removing the mask
    • Keep the mask clean
      • Launder it once a day in warm water
    • Store the mask in a clean and dry space or properly dispose of it
  •  Incorrect face mask use
    • Wearing mask under the nose and mouth
    • Letting a strap dangle down or across the straps
    • Touching or adjusting the face mask without cleaning hands before and after
    • Wearing a mask on your head or around your neck or arm
    • Letting the mask obstruct vision
    • Laying the mask on a surface that could be contaminated or contaminate the surface
    • Using a mask if it is damaged in any way

While some recreation facilities are opening on Monday, September 14th, the RDCK said they are consistently reviewing their parks and recreation services as new information or protocols are available.

“The RDCK appreciates the patience of all our users as we implement new expanded services with COVID-19 policies and procedures in place,” said the regional district.

MORE: RDCK Recreation (RDCK)