The dog days of summer are here, but the City of Windsor is asking people to hold off on cooling off just a little longer.
“We’re asking people not to go in the water yet,” said Jan Wilson, executive director of the city’s parks and culture department. “The water has not been tested yet and so we want to make sure it’s safe before people do that.”
Wilson said since the health unit is inundated with all things coronavirus, the City of Windsor has hired a third party to test beach water quality at Sandpoint Beach.
While some county beaches have reopened, others have closed back down due to overcrowding and other concerns. City of Windsor staff are being called back to work in anticipation of Sandpoint reopening by Aug. 4.
“We’ll have staff greeting and counting people and limiting the capacity that we have on the beach,” she said. “We’ll have additional staff that’ll be beach ambassadors and they’ll be walking through and helping to educate people to remember to keep distances when you’re not with your family group.”
On July 13, seven of nine city splash pads should be good to go, with new rules in place.
Pads will stay enclosed with fencing, and like lifeguards at the beach city staff will monitor and limit crowds.
“We feel having staff on-site will really go a long way to try to avoid those situations where people are overcrowding and not leaving enough space,” Wilson said.
People in town said they’re adapting to the extreme heat, and welcome all ways to stay cool.
Residents said it’s best to try to get out early before the heat breaks, not overdo it if working outside, and call up those friends who have pools in their backyard.
As for the splash pads, the city wants to avoid long lines, saying kids will be rotated so everyone gets a turn.
“We don’t want people standing around waiting and waiting and waiting for someone to finally finish playing on there,” Wilson said. “It’ll be a little bit different but we’re just asking people to support their neighbours and make sure everybody can do this without worrying.”
Two splash pads will remain closed for now. The one at Remington Booster Park since it is inside a fenced-off outdoor pool area, and the small splash pad a Mic Mac Park. Officials say the area is too small to safely enforce physical distancing and there is a larger pad nearby.
City pools and playgrounds will remain closed until further direction is given by the province.