After careful preparation and planning, the Comox Valley local governments are announcing a limited reopening of select outdoor recreation facilities in Comox, Courtenay, Cumberland and the Comox Valley Regional District (CVRD).

Numerous outdoor amenities have been closed since March 17 to help limit the spread of the novel coronavirus (COVID-19). The limited reopening follows the Province of BC’s May 6 announcement that easing of some restrictions will begin in mid-May through the BC Restart Plan.

Indoor recreation facilities and outdoor playgrounds throughout the region remain closed, pending further updates and direction from the Ministry of Health and Worksafe BC. The CVRD’s Beach Fire Program is also suspended, along with special events and organized group sports such as soccer, rugby, baseball, and basketball leagues.

The following facilities will reopen effective Thursday May 14, 2020:
City of Courtenay
Martin Park Lacrosse/Pickleball Courts
Lewis Park Tennis Courts
Lewis Park Outdoor Skate Park
LINC Youth Centre Basketball Courts
Valley View Outdoor Skate Park
Town of Comox
Tennis Courts at Anderton Park
Tennis Courts at Community Centre
Pickleball Courts at Highland Rotary Courts
Outdoor Hockey Box at Highland Fields
Comox Disc Golf Course
Village of Cumberland
Skatepark and Jump Park at Village Park
Tennis and Basketball Courts at Village Park
Off-leash Dog Park at Village Park
Cumberland Trailhead Parking Lots
Coal Creek Disc Golf Course in Cumberland remains open
Cumberland Lake Park day use and boat launch remain open (limited parking). Campground remains closed for now.
Comox Valley Regional District
Pinecrest Park Bike Park
Goose Spit Stairs (One-way uphill only. Please detour downhill via Yates and Hawkins Roads)
Users of these facilities are reminded to follow physical distancing measures by staying two metres apart from anyone outside of your household, avoid unnecessary touching of surfaces, and to stay home and self-isolate if you are ill.

These facilities deemed low-risk and suitable for reopening were chosen collaboratively by members of the parks departments from each of the Comox Valley local governments. Their decisions followed a detailed assessment of several factors, including the typical number and proximity of participants, common touch points, and whether cleaning would be required. Following reopening, there will be an assessment period to monitor the changes and ensure they are working as intended.

“We understand the importance of safe, outdoor recreation spaces for our communities during this time, and echo the Provincial Health Officer Dr. Bonnie Henry’s encouragement to spend time outside,” stated CVRD Board Chair and EOC Spokesperson Jesse Ketler. “Local governments are working together to carefully reopen some of our outdoor facilities that allow for low risk activities which can be enjoyed while still following social distancing measures. I’d like to thank residents for their continued cooperation and for supporting the safety of our Comox Valley communities.”

Bylaw enforcement and outside local government staff will continue to provide education to residents in local government parks and open spaces. Please visit www.comoxvalleyrd.ca/covid19 for up-to-date facility information.

Residents are encouraged to please follow the CVRD social media channels @comoxvalleyrd on Facebook and Twitter, as well as visiting the CVRD website www.comoxvalleyrd.ca/covid19 to remain up to date on accurate information. All Comox Valley local governments are centralizing regional COVID-19 information through these channels. The Emergency Operations Centre is standing by to support the lead agencies, Ministry of Health and Island Health, if requested at the federal and provincial level.

The Emergency Operations team with representatives from the DND/19-Wing Comox, K’ómoks First Nation, CVRD, City of Courtenay, Town of Comox, Village of Cumberland, Fire Chiefs Association, and many other external agencies and organizations are working together to collaborate on response measures and best practices for the region.

Jennifer Steel

Manager of Corporate Communications, Corporate Services Branch, Comox Valley Regional District