The Revelstoke skatepark on June 3 at 5 p.m. (Liam Harrap/Revelstoke Review)

Local doctor cautions Revelstokians as skatepark reopens

Dr. Bret Batchelor reminds people the pandemic is not yet over

With playgrounds and the skatepark recently reopening, Dr. Bret Batchelor is asking residents to be cautious as those places could be hotspots for COVID-19.

The City of Revelstoke reopened the two on June 1.

When Batchelor went to the skatepark on reopening day, he said it was jam-packed with over 30 people in the park, which he thought was too many for that area.

“I want people to connect, but not that much at once,” he said.

READ MORE: ‘We can only slow it down’: Revelstoke doctor urges people to social distance

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Instead of staying at the park, Batchelor went home. He wants to remind people, especially young skateboarders, if the parks are busy, go back another day.

COVID-19 added signage at the skatepark. (Liam Harrap/Revelstoke Review)

“It’s so nice to see people enjoying themselves and Revelstoke no longer a ghost town, but it’s still important to make the right decisions.”

In times of COVID-19, Batchelor said, it’s important people do not have an escalation of commitment.

“It’s okay to not stick with your plans and change them or give them up. It’s for the greater good.”

The skatepark is on land owned by the City of Revelstoke.

To support the reopening of the park, the city partnered with the Stoke Youth Network and the Columbia Valley Skateboard Association.

To help reduce numbers and provide education to users, the skatepark now has monitors for several hours of the day. The Columbia Valley Skateboard Association said most of the monitors are volunteers.

The association said up to 20 people are permitted in the skatepark at once.

While monitors do not have the authority to remove skateboarders, the city said they are supported by bylaw.

The city said as-of-June-3, no tickets have been issued for lack of social distancing.

As B.C. has started to reopen this month, the Provincial Health Officer Dr. Bonnie Henry said COVID-19 is still circulating throughout the province.

“We’re not out of the woods yet,” Henry told reporters June 1. Gatherings of more than 50 people are still banned.

In the last 24 hours, the province has recorded just one case of COVID-19, bringing the number of active cases to 193. In B.C. 167 people have died from novel coronavirus.

Henry has previously indicated a second wave for the virus is probable.

Batchelor said Revelstoke has done an excellent job at flattening the curve, but it’s important to remember the pandemic is still not over.

“When you choose to do something, just think. What could be the consequences?”

An avid skateboarder himself, Batchelor would hate to see the skatepark close again.

“I don’t want to see that happen.”

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COVID-19 added signage at the skatepark. (Liam Harrap/Revelstoke Review)

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