HUMBOLDT — Recreation facilities within the Uniplex will face greater restrictions than ever before, but the plan is to keep them open, with the exception of the curling rink.
“It’s definitely bigger restrictions than what we’ve had in the past since we were able to open back up,” said Michael Ulriksen, Humboldt’s leisure services director.
“Hopefully we can adjust quickly and [user] groups can continue to be active to some degree.”
In the Elgar Petersen Arena, all of the adult sports, including Humboldt Broncos and recreational hockey, are not permitted.
Those under the age of 18 can have practices and skill sessions, but they are limited to eight players on the ice plus instructors. Masks are also mandatory.
Ulriksen said user groups like Humboldt Minor Hockey and Skate Humboldt are figuring out how to do skill sessions and similar activities in a safe manner that follows the restrictions.
“Those groups are currently working on trying to figure out how that looks for their organizations and hopefully by next week we'll have a little bit better idea as to how much usage and what kind of impact it'll have on the schedule in the arena.”
Ulriksen said he expects there will still be enough demand to keep the arena open.
“We do anticipate that there will be a little bit of adjustments to how long we're open each day, and on the weekends, but do not intend to shut down our building completely.”
The restrictions will have an effect on the Aquatic Center’s operations.
Public swimming is now down to a maximum of 30 people in the pool.
Swimming lessons can have only eight participants at a time, plus instructors.
“We're just finishing up a second set of lessons here now and then we're going to re-evaluate to determine if we provide any more swimming lessons under the current restrictions,” Ulriksen said.
The leisure services director said the city is seeking some clarifications from public health, but the pool is expected to remain open as long as they can offer public and lane swimming.
The biggest change to operations in the fitness room is that anybody in there has to wear a mask.
“In the past that wasn't the case, once you're in the fitness room, they can take their masks off, but now they're required to wear the mask and throughout our facility,” Ulriksen said.
Due to previous health measures, the room is limited to seven people.
Because there can be no sports for adults, the curling rink has suspended operations.
“They will have to wait until restrictions are lifted in order for the curling rink to open back up,” Ulriksen said.
The Humboldt Curling Club is asking local residents to support their monthly lottery in the meantime.
“We need everyone’s help to raise enough money to keep our club open this year and many more,” the club said on its Facebook page on Nov. 27.
Forms to enter the lottery can be found in the Nov. 19, Nov. 26 and Dec. 3 editions of both the Humboldt Journal and East Central Recorder.
Ulriksen said the city will keep an eye out on how the health measures change on Dec. 17, the date the government said it announced whether they are extended, removed or changed.
“We'll see come Dec. 17 if things become more restricted, if some of the restrictions are eased or if we just stay status quo for a little while longer.”