Walking track hours at the Amherst Stadium have been extended to near pre-pandemic levels, but provincially mandated COVID-19 protocols continue to impact the track’s operation.
Starting on Saturday, Feb. 13, 2021, the walking track will be open from 7 a.m. to 9 p.m. Monday through Friday and from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m., on Saturday and 4 p.m. to 9 p.m. on Sunday. Walkers will still have to provide contact information and physical distancing must still be observed.
Prior to the pandemic, the walking track was open seven days per week from 7 a.m. to 9 p.m., with the exception of when paid activities, such as an Amherst Rambler hockey game, took place. Under the new scheduling, the walking track will also be closed whenever those paid activities happen.
When the pandemic hit in March 2020, the track was closed to the public. It reopened in late October 2020 on Tuesdays and Thursdays, with two, one-hour sessions on each of those days.
In order to ensure the provincially mandated COVID-19 protocols in effect at that time were met, the number of walkers on the track was limited to 10, and they had to preregister in order to ensure contact tracing – if it was required – could take place.
Following the recent hiring of the town’s new active living co-ordinator, the town was able to extend the operating time of the track to 10 hours per week, and changes to the provincially mandated COVID-19 protocols enabled the number of walkers on the track to increase to 25. People were still required to preregister.
The latest extension will see the elimination of the need to preregister. However due to the current provincially mandated COVID-19 protocols, walkers will still be required to
provide their name and phone number so that contacting tracing can take place if it is required.
Those same protocols continue to limit the number of walkers on the track at any one time to 25.
The latest extension of walking hours at the stadium was made possible by town council’s decision on Jan. 25, 2021, to provide funding to enable the hiring of three part-time customer service assistants to term positions.
Customer service attendants will obtain the information needed for contact tracing and will ensure the number of walkers on the track does not exceed 25 at any one time.
In addition to increasing the walking track hours, the hiring of the customer service assistants will enable some public skating sessions to be scheduled. To see when they are available please go to: https://amherst.ca/stadium-calendar.html.
Like the walkers, skaters will have to provide the customer service assistants with contact information so that contact tracing can take place, and the number of skaters on the ice surface at any one time will be limited to 60.