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Last updateFri, 18 Sep 2020 8am

Indoor recreation facilities slated to open September 9

BCF reopening

The Town of Drumheller has scheduled indoor recreation facilities to re-open on Wednesday, September 9.

This includes the Drumheller Memorial Arena, Drumheller Aquaplex, and the Badlands Community Facility.

“Based on the requirements set out in the Provincial Health Guidelines in June we felt we weren’t ready to re-open our indoor recreation facilities at that time and opened up the outdoor facilities, such as the spray park instead. Our recreation staff have now returned and are developing and implementing measures to ensure that our facilities are set up safely for the public and our staff, explained Darryl Drohomerski, CAO Town of Drumheller. “I ask for people’s patience as this has been a large undertaking and staff are having to adapt to a completely new way of using the facilities.”

“We are very excited to be back and can’t wait to welcome people back to our facilities,” added Darren Goldthorpe, Manager of Recreation, Arts, and Culture. “There will be significant changes to the user experience in order to meet the health guidelines. We will be launching an information campaign to show people what these changes are and we ask users to make themselves aware of the new procedures in advance. Users can expect some schedule adjustments, capacity limitations, and some equipment will be out of use for the time being. We ask for everyone’s patience as work through everything in a safe manner.”

The biggest adjustment for users is that they will have to reserve their time in the recreation facilities online prior to arrival.

“The ability to contact trace and to maintain proper capacity numbers is a huge part of the relaunch,” Goldthorpe continues. “Through our online portal, users can reserve their spots within our facilities and drop-in classes. Our staff are going through training to assist all of our patrons with this new process.”

Members will be contacted regarding their memberships as the weeks continue, however, Mayor and Council have agreed to waive admission fees for drop-in and members for the entire month of September.

In June the Province of Alberta announced Stage 2 of the Provincial Relaunch Strategy would begin on Friday, June 12, 2020. This announcement moved a number of Stage 3 items to Stage 2 including outdoor recreation, fitness, and sports centres.

The Town of Drumheller will be updating their website and social media channels as soon as information is available. Please visit www.drumheller.ca, follow us on Facebook, and Twitter for up to date and accurate information.


One active case of COVID-19 in Drumheller

Drumheller COVID update

There were a total of 27 active cases of COVID-19 as of August 31 in Alberta’s Central Zone; 20 of those cases were newly identified between August 24 and 30, with one of those cases in Drumheller.

A brief increase in late-July and early-August placed Kneehill, Starland, and Wheatland County temporarily on the Alberta Health Services watch list. However, the Central Zone has the lowest number of COVID-19 cases across the province.

During a press conference on August 31 Alberta’s chief medical officer of health, Dr. Deena Hinshaw said, “School is starting this week in many places across the province and the success of schools re-opening depends on all of us.”

A new health order, signed over the weekend and which went into effect on August 31, states the two metre distancing does not need to be ensured by school operators “when a student, staff member or visitor is seated at desk or table” during instruction or study.

Dr. Hinshaw received criticism from Jason Schilling, president of the Alberta Teachers’ Association, on Twitter regarding the timing of the order, as well as her reversal on social distancing in classrooms despite ongoing recommendations of two metre distancing elsewhere.

“The Strategic Advisory Council, which provides advice to (Dr. Hinshaw) still suggests two metres, so what gives? This goes against everything we’ve been told for months,” Schilling said in a Tweet.

Dr. Hinshaw took to Twitter to respond to Schilling’s criticism, noting the timing of the order was “not to hide information from Albertans, but to ensure school authorities knew about the order before it came into effect today (August 31).”

Students will need to perform a daily questionnaire to determine if they have any symptoms, and whether they can attend school that day. Face masks will still be mandatory for students in Grades 4 through 12 and all school staff.

As of Monday August 31 there is one active case in Drumheller and Starland County, four active cases in Wheatland County, and zero active cases in Kneehill County.

Current information provided by the Government of Alberta lists a total of 1,370 active cases with 133 new cases as of August 31. Over the weekend an average of 11,223 tests were completed per day; a total of 967,083 tests have been conducted on 767,296 Albertans.

Province-wide a total of 12,293 Albertans have recovered from COVID-19, with two new deaths reported bringing the total number of casualties to 239 across the province.

Drumheller Minor Hockey schedules evaluations

Minor Hockey

While many aspects of the coming hockey season are still in limbo, Drumheller Minor Hockey is making the best of it and have scheduled evaluations for the upcoming season.
“We have a couple of evaluations coming up with the U-9 and the U-11,” said Drumheller Minor Hockey President Lyle Caweizel.
He said they will have some practice skates after the Labour Day long weekend prior to the evaluations which will start. There will be four evaluation skates where they will run them through drills and gameplay. The players will be ranked into tiers to form the teams for the upcoming season.
While despite the unstable prospect of a season due to the pandemic, Drumheller Minor Hockey registration is still relatively strong. They will be able to fill teams at all levels, with the potential of more than one at the U-9 and U-11 levels. There are still spaces on a few teams especially at the U-14 level, where they could use a few more players.
“We are going ahead with the teams,” he said.
He says currently Hockey Alberta is still in the development phase of its Return to Hockey Program.
“They expect this phase to go until October 31, and then we can roll into the next phase which would be league play or tiered play,” he said. “We probably won’t see any games until November 1.”
In the meantime, they are able to have inner squad games, as well as practice and training.


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