The Okanagan Skaha School District will reopen its playgrounds beginning June 1. The playgrounds had been closed since March in an effort to slow the spread of the COVID-19 pandemic. (John Arendt - Summerland Review)

Okanagan Skaha School District to reopen playgrounds

Facilities will reopen to the public on June 1

The Okanagan Skaha School District will start opening its playgrounds and sports courts beginning June 1.

The reopening takes place at the same time as the City of Penticton, Regional District of Okanagan-Simikameen and District of Summerland are opening their playgrounds.

Earlier, playgrounds had been closed to slow the spread of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Signs will be posted on all outdoor play structures to encourage physical distancing and hand washing before and after use.

READ ALSO: Playgrounds to reopen across the Okanagan on June 1

READ ALSO: Summerland to reopen playgrounds and recreational facilities

The decision to reopen has been made with direction from the provincial COVID-19 Health and Safety Guidelines for Kindergarten to Grade 12 Setting which states that “playgrounds are a safe environment” and that everyone should be mindful of “appropriate personal hygiene practices before, during and after outdoor play.”

“During this time, play and fresh air are critical to a child’s development,” said James Palanio, chair of the school board. “We need to ensure that children are playing safely by encouraging physical distancing and minimizing contact with other children as much as possible and washing hands before and after play.”

In addition, school buses across the school district will begin running at their regularly scheduled times on Mondays, Tuesdays, Thursdays, and Fridays. There will be no buses running on Wednesdays.

School buses will carry one student per seat with the potential of students from the same home sharing a seat if necessary.

School district staff expect busing numbers will be low, but in the unlikely event of a full bus, bus drivers may have to adapt the routes as necessary to ensure all students are picked up.

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