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LETTER – Comox Valley Aquatic Centre inadequacies abundant upon reopening

Dear editor,

I would have loved to have made this a bouquet because the CVRD has opened the Aquatic Centre but that is not to be.

To accommodate more people the Aquatic Centre should have been opened the entire time. We were told that because of the budget it would remain closed.

The Aquatic Centre was closed for over 18 months. Yet when we arrived back some showers were not working (still aren’t); men’s washroom soap dispensers were empty; the gym had a broken shelf that was not fixed until it was handed over to the staff to be fixed; all of the clocks showed a different time, and did until mid-October; and a finishing was put on the decks which make them unsafe for walking. People have fallen. Mats are laid out on the deck, however shower areas are still extremely slippery.

Issues that were addressed years ago with a meeting with our group and facility management are back to where they started – the music for aquafit is mind-numbingly loud and the lane ropes are removed long before they need to be.

But our biggest concern is that CVRD staff and fellow swimmers are not required to be vaccinated. Participants in the gym are required to show their vaccination passports. Aquatics participants are not. We are very concerned that we are bumping into each other in the pool; the showers and dressing rooms do not have limited participants so it is very difficult to social distance; school kids come into the building and are not wearing masks; the hot tub can become overcrowded – the maximum number of persons has never been monitored, even pre-COVID-19.

Seniors were very much looking forward to the opening of the Aquatic Centre, but many are staying away because we are feeling unsafe in this environment. Some stopped when they did not have to show their vaccine passport. For some, it is the only form of exercise available to them.

It is time for the CVRD to become proactive instead of reactive. It’s time to put the safety and welfare ahead of budget. It’s time to follow the example of communities, companies and organizations that have put a vaccine requirement in place to protect all staff and anyone entering their facilities.

Judy Cowan,

Comox

Comox Valley Regional DistrictLetter to the Editor