Playgrounds reopen to pent up demand in Nanaimo

Playgrounds reopen to pent up demand in Nanaimo
WatchPlaygrounds are in the process of reopening Vancouver Island wide. With no new COVID-19 cases here and physical distancing measures in effect, the tape was torn off Nanaimo playgrounds Wednesday.

Freya Routhier was living her dream Wednesday as she descended on her favourite Nanaimo playground.

“I’m very excited,” said the six-year-old Nanaimo girl.

Harewood Centennial Park and many more playgrounds on Vancouver Island reopened Wednesday from more than two months of COVID-19 closures. 

“She went yeah!” said Freya’s father Chris Routhier when describing how excited his daughter was.

“And ran laps in the apartment.”

It’s so amazing,” said Freya.

“It’s the first time in forever.”

Physical distancing measures are in effect at playground and signs are posted to remind people about handwashing. Nanaimo joined cities from Saanich to North Cowichan and Comox, which started welcoming kids back on Monday.  

“It feels good to be back in the park,” said Nanaimo father of two, Dylan Perry.

“I feel pretty safe. Being outside is good.”

Mother of two Lindsay Miller said a trip to the playground is not without reservations. After months of social isolation, she said it was hard to take this step forward. 

“I mean there’s a lot of feelings going around about everything,” said the Nanaimo resident.

She did bring her children to the playground.

“They have been stuck at home for three months and they’ve just been itching to get out,” said Miller.

BC Premier John Horgan insisted Wednesday that reopenings are happening because it is now safe to do this.

“Try and keep your loved ones, a good distance away from other kids in the playground,” Horgan said in his Wednesday media briefing.

“Take along some wipes with you if you can. It wouldn’t hurt to wipe things off before you use them and I encourage people to enjoy all of the amenities in our parks.”

Skye RyanSkye Ryan

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