Chatham-Kent is open for fun

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Allison Terfloth, Arts and Culture staff for the municipality, can be seen holding a milk pail and standing next to a milk can, as the Chatham-Kent museum is reopens. Both artifacts can be found in the Chatham-Kent Museum’s “Out in the Open” exhibit.

Pools, day camps, museums are opening up

By Jenna Cocullo, Local Journalism Initiative

Get your cameras ready and your swim trunks on. Chatham-Kent is reopening for fun.

In July Chatham-Kent reopened for business under the province’s Stage 3 reopening plan. This month, a good chunk of services that had remained closed are also unlocking their doors.

Day camps, organized activities for Chatham-Kent’s youth, and municipal pools are allowed to resume their operations under CK Public Health guidelines for social distancing and cleaning. 

Dr. David Colby, Chatham-Kent’s medical officer of health, rescinded the orders issued on June 12 that required those services to remain closed. 

“The low number of active cases in our community have made it possible for municipal pools and day camps to open,” he stated.

The Gable Rees Rotary Pool, Blenheim, will be open on a minimal basis first, said CK Recreation officials. The Wallaceburg Sydenham District Pool will follow suit, later this fall.
Gable Rees Rotary Pool is expected to open its doors next week. Programming will begin with lane swims and adult/seniors swims. More programming will be added once safety procedures have been tried and assessed with the first batch of public users. 

“The team has been working closely with CK Public Health to reopen the pools efficiently and safely. This included a full inspection of the pool by a public health inspector and education to train staff on proper sanitization, health screening of swimmers and how to navigate the facilities during these times,” said Ann Robinson, manager, Recreation and Community Engagement Services.

In the meantime, residents can go to the Chatham-Kent museum, which began operations on Sept. 30.

Blair Newby, coordinator, Museum Programs, said that she is excited for the public to finally see the “Carnivals! Festivals! Fairs! Oh My!” which is on display for a limited time and had to close in March.

The exhibit celebrates the fair tradition in Chatham-Kent, from the Jaycee Fair to the Dresden Exhibition.

Long standing exhibits such as the “Out in the Open,” exhibit that displays some of the museum’s never before seen three-dimensional artifacts such as a mammoth tooth. 

In addition to the enhanced cleaning protocols, the museum is also following new public hours, reduced visitor capacity, and timed admissions. 

The museum will be open from Wednesday to Saturday. A special seniors hour is reserved at 11 a.m. – 12 p.m. and the general public can attend from noon to 4 p.m. All visitors must register online and can visit with the nine other individuals in their social circles.

Admission is free but the public can always make donations. 

All physical distancing materials for the Arts and Culture facilities will be covered by the municipal budget.

The Thames Art Gallery reopened mid-September with a new exhibition entitled “Messagers’ Forum”, originally planned for Spring 2020. Entry is walk-in for a maximum number of 30 people at a time. 

Weekly movies at the Capitol Theatre are scheduled to resume in November 2020, and plans are underway for a live-stream series from the Capitol stage. 

The Capitol and Kiwanis Theatre performances that were planned for the 2020-2021 season have been postponed to the 2021-2022. However, external presenters can hold events at each venue, to be determined on a case-by-case basis.

CK Public Health is reminding residents to follow the advice to keep COVID-19 controlled in the municipality: physically distance two metres from others, wear a mask in indoor public spaces, stay home if you are feeling unwell, and frequently wash your hands or use 70 per cent alcohol based hand sanitizer where washing is unavailable.

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