Media Release: Stratford Announces Phased Approach to Reopening
Posted on 05/25/2020
Image with words COVID-19 UpdatesFOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: May 25, 2020

As the COVID-19 situation continues to evolve on PEI, Stratford Council and staff have been spending much of their time recently planning for the safe reopening of spaces and services in our community. In a similar manner to the phases of Renew PEI, the Town of Stratford will begin opening previously closed spaces over the coming weeks.

“Residents are looking forward to having further options available to them in our community,” stated Stratford Mayor Steve Ogden. “Parents and caregivers are excited to see playgrounds opening again soon, we know our skatepark was full of activity this past weekend, and sports fields soon will be as well. We are all looking forward to seeing aspects of life returning, especially as we head into the summer months.”

Stratford Town staff will be finalizing the required operational plan this week covering all aspects related to resuming services and opening spaces in Stratford. The plan outlines things like cleaning and sanitizing schedules, how staff operate in a safe manner, and what processes are in place to ensure the safety of residents and staff, among other things.

“Staff and council have reviewed the operational plan to determine what levels of staffing and additional expenses are required in each area for them to reopen,” added Mayor Ogden. “Final elements of the plan are being worked through this week with many spaces beginning to reopen on June 1st. There have been some difficult decisions as well through this process, particularly the decision to leave the gym, walking track and fitness area closed at this time. We will continue to review this, however, concerns about how social distancing could be achieved in this area, currently outweighs the need to reopen it. Thankfully, we are looking at days that are brighter, longer, and warmer allowing our residents to be active outdoors. We also have several private fitness offerings in the community and encourage residents to look into these as we continue to ‘Think Stratford’ and support our local businesses as they reopen.”

The Town of Stratford had previously been working on a project for the upcoming summer to have a series of easy to do workouts placed on signage attached to benches in the Town. These signs are currently being printed and will be installed sometime in June on a variety of benches in some of our more highly traveled areas around the community. More details will be released to residents as this project moves forward in the coming weeks.

Opening as of June 1st in the Town of Stratford:
• Town Playgrounds
• Sports fields (except Lower MacNeill field)
• Outdoor tennis and pickleball courts
• Bunbury Outdoor Rink
• Facility and meeting room rentals (where social distancing can be maintained and with reduced availability)
• Stratford Public Library (as determined by the Province of PEI as the operator)

Future planned openings:
• Lower MacNeill Ballfield – June 12
• Splash pad (weather permitting) – June 22

“At this time no date has been established for the opening of the Town’s offices,” continued Mayor Ogden. “Staff has continued to work successfully from home throughout the COVID-19 closure, and in continuing to follow the advice of the Chief Public Health Officer, those who can work from home should continue to do so. As an organization we were in very good shape starting out with our computer network infrastructure already in place allowing the majority of staff the capability to smoothly transition to working from home. Much of the remaining work has moved to an online and electronic environment, and at this time is not hindering our ability to serve residents or the general public. In those occasional instances where a staff member is not able to offer an online solution, the general public can arrange ahead of time to meet the employee at the office as an alternative method. Our priority remains the safety of our employees and all residents, while also continuing to deliver the services required for our community.”

As spaces begin to reopen the Town recognizes that there may situations where residents need to report a large gathering or individual not self-isolating as directed. These are not situations in which the Town of Stratford has the authority to intervene. To report a gathering that exceeds the number outlined in the current phase of Renew PEI, please contact the RCMP non-emergency phone number at (902) 368-9300. Residents looking to report someone not following the self-isolation directive should call the Province of PEI at 1-800-958-6400.

Town staff continue to work throughout this time and residents can contact the Town at (902) 569-1995 or info@townofstratford.ca to be directed to the appropriate staff person for their inquiry, or can visit the Town’s website at www.townofstratford.ca. The Town continues to remind those in our community who may not have the supports of family, friends or neighbours and require non-medical assistance during COVID-19 to contact the Town and identify their needs. Staff will help them access the required services or goods as best they can. To make their needs known, residents are asked to reach out by email at info@townofstratford.ca or by telephone at (902) 569-1995.

For the latest updates, please visit www.townofstratford.ca.

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For more information please contact:

Wendy Watts, Community & Business Engagement Manager
Town of Stratford
T: (902) 569-1995
E: wwatts@townofstratford.ca

Printable version: Media Release - Stratford Announces Phased Approach to Reopening (May 25, 2020)