Depending on what the province will say today, recreation or sports facilities in the Strathmore area could see a few changes. Everyone is anticipating what will happen today as Alberta has reached the June 10 COVID-19 Stage 2 milestone.

Talking to Town of Strathmore Mark Pretzlaff, Manager of Recreation and Culture, he says, “We're waiting for guidelines from the province that will hopefully come out before Stage 2 begins, which is supposed to start today (June 10th.) To the best of our ability, we're going to reopen all our facilities as soon as possible, but they may have to be a staggered approach,” he said.

On Wednesday, the province announced that in Stage 2 public sites like some museums and heritage sites will reopen to the public with reduced capacity.

Leela Sharon Aheer, Minister of Culture, Multiculturalism, and Status of Women said, “Alberta’s museums, historic sites, and archives have done a wonderful job this past year. They have sparked our curiosity and kept us engaged in our province’s history. We are so excited to welcome Albertans back by offering a safe and fun experience for families, educators, and history buffs alike. This is another important step in our province getting back to normal, and having the best summer ever.”

In Strathmore, Pretzlaff said there are a lot of factors that go into being able to reopen facilities, like being able to recall staff.

“We've had staff that have been temporarily laid off for quite a while and so we have to ensure that we can get facilities open,” he said. That means getting certifications that could allow for a phased approach depending on demand and staff availability.  Noting the goal is to reopen facilities as soon as possible.

“We’re still were waiting for some guidelines from the province and I think once we understand what that really means, whether there will be some restrictions in place or whether they will be open to what we used to know as normal, hopefully, that the province will release that and then we can plan accordingly,” said Pretzlaff.

“We just don't know what these new rules mean, and the province hasn't released them yet, unfortunately, without that information, we just are very cautious because we want to ensure that we're meeting the standards of AHS and that we don't have a flaw, or a setback in terms of offerings to the public or have an outbreak,” he explained.

Recreation authorities in Strathmore anticipate a soft opening at a lot of facilities to allow staff to get back into the groove of providing recreation, and hopefully, that will correspond with some increased hours and options to the public.