By Courtney Bachar/The Oshawa Express/LJI Reporter
As Oshawa and Durham Region have moved into the Red Zone of the province’s COVID-19 Response Framework, Oshawa Mayor Dan Carter says while that’s good news, residents still need to remain vigilant.
“That means wearing a mask, washing our hands, staying apart, and try and stay within our family units to be able to make sure that we’re part of the flattening of the curve,” he says.
With Oshawa now in the red zone, the city is preparing to reopen some facilities, beginning March 1, including City Hall, Civic Recreation Complex, South Oshawa Community Centre, the Donevan Complex, and Delpark Homes Centre.
However, Carter says there will be some changes at these facilities.
“Here at City Hall and at all of our facilities, we’re asking people to book ahead,” says Carter, noting attending city facilities is by appointment only.
“Our facilities are asking you to take the opportunity to book ahead to make sure you get your spot to utilize our facilities,” he adds.
Residents interested in booking an appointment at one of the city facilities can do so through Service Oshawa at 905-436-3311. Bookings will be open beginning on Wednesday, Feb. 24.
Oshawa residents now also have the option of advance booking privileges, including bookings for fitness centres, indoor tracks, tennis and pickleball courts, and leisure swimming and skating.
Residents who have an active Fitness Membership will have 10 days advance booking privileges, while community members who are not Oshawa residents but have an active Fitness Membership will have seven days.
Oshawa residents who do not have an active Fitness Membership will have three days advance booking privileges, and other community members without an active membership will have one day advance booking privileges.
Residents looking to take advantage of the 10- or three-day booking privileges are asked to call Service Oshawa, while all other booking requests can be done online at www.register.oshawa.ca.
Ice rental is available at Delpark Homes Centre by contacting the Facility Booking Office. Ice is also available at the Tribute Communities Centre for on-ice instruction to specific sport affiliations and organizations.
Futhermore, the Delpark and Northview branches of Oshawa Public Libraries will reopen on March 1 as well for in-library browsing, computer use and takeout service. The Jess Hann branch will reopen to the public on March 1, while the McLaughlin branch will continue to provide take-out service only.
The OSCC55+ Delpark Homes Branch will reopen by appointment only in conjunction with the Depark Homes Centre.
Carter says now is the time for the community to continue to be vigilant, noting residents have done a “tremendous job” thus far.
“I’m asking us to stay local, shop local, support local, but we’re in this together,” he adds. “We will get through this together.”
Carter noted it’s been almost one year that COVID-19 has been around.
“We’ve got a little more journey to go through, but I’m optimistic and hopeful that 2021 will be a tremendous year.”