Council not leaving anything to chance
With active cases of Omicron now isolating in our local community, the Kāpiti Coast District Council like many businesses and councils across Aotearoa is not leaving anything to chance and is implementing some temporary changes across its community facilities to keep staff and customers safe.
Acting Chief Executive Sean Mallon says we’ve been very upfront with our community about the fact that we may need to operate some of facilities and deliver our services differently as we navigate this next phase of the pandemic.
“We also need to prepare for the fact that at some stage we will have staff isolating at home, potentially up to 25 per cent of our people, which will severely limit our ability to keep our doors open.
“Ensuring that we can continue to keep our facilities open and provide continuity of service to the Kāpiti Coast community is important to us which is why we are getting prepared and implementing some changes now.
“From Monday 14 February, we’re changing our pool opening hours and making some changes to class timetables and what facilities are available at the Coastlands Aquatic Centre, Ōtaki Pool, and Waikanae Pool to enable us to divide our aquatics team into two distinct shifts.
“The two shifts will not cross paths – they’ll effectively be two bubbles until we know where we stand with Omicron. This will give us the best chance of keeping our pools open should one of our aquatics team return a positive COVID-19 test,” Mr Mallon said.
The Coastlands Aquatic Centre will close between 12noon and 3pm and at the earlier time of 8.30pm Monday to Friday and will have reduced hours at weekends. The programmes pool will be closed to the public at all times except for Aqua Ease/Move classes. The toddler pool remains open for now but the hydro slide and sauna are closed. There are also some changes to the Aqua class timetable and bookings are essential as class sizes will be restricted to 24 people.
The Waikanae Pool will open daily between 10.30am and 5.30pm, with the toddler pool only available on weekends. The hydro slide, spa, and BBQs will be unavailable while New Zealand remains at the red traffic light setting. There are also changes to the aqua class timetable and classes will limited to 30 people.
The Ōtaki Pool will be open from 11.00am – 6.00pm Tuesday to Friday, from 8am to 3pm on Saturdays, and closed on Sundays and Mondays. The spa, sauna and BBQs will be unavailable and there are also changes to the aqua class timetable with classes restricted to 30 people. The splash pad will remain open as it is outdoors and you don’t need to enter the pool complex to access it.
Mr Mallon said to make this work the Council has had to temporarily push pause on Learn to Swim classes and reduce the aqua fit class timetable to ensure there is adequate lifeguard, aqua fit instructor and reception staff cover across the two shifts.
“We acknowledge that this is not an ideal situation but if we don’t put these temporary changes in place now, the chances are that if one of our staff returns a positive COVID-19 test we will need to stand down all our aquatics staff until they return a negative test as they currently work across all three aquatics facilities.
Mr Mallon said library services are currently operating as normal with the exception of a minor change to opening hours at the Paraparaumu Library.
“The Paraparaumu Library will close at the earlier time of 5pm, as opposed to 7.30pm, on Thursdays and Fridays from week commencing 14 February due to resource availability.”
The Council is also making some changes to how bookings for community venues are allocated to minimise the spread of the virus.
“For venues where we’ve previously allowed multiple groups to use space within a venue at the same time, we will be limiting usage to one booking per venue,” Mr Mallon said. “Our Council team will be in contact with regular hall hirers over the next week to inform them of the changes.
“It’s important to remember that these changes are temporary. COVID-19 has challenged us all in more ways than one and we certainly don’t enjoy reducing services but now isn’t the time for complacency.
“We are hopeful that by making some pragmatic decisions now we will be well placed for when we do start to see more active cases in our community. If things don’t play out as expected then we’ll look to revert to our normal operations as quickly as possible. Equally, if Omicron takes hold we may need to look to make further changes.”
The Council’s website kapiticoast.govt.nz has been updated to reflect the changes that will come into effect on Monday.
“We encourage people to take a look at our website or to give us a call before they visit our facilities to avoid disappointment,” Mr Mallon said.
“We continue to ask that people be patient and kind. This is an ever-changing situation and while we may not be able to offer a full suite of services right now, our Council team remains committed to delivering for the Kāpiti Coast community and our customer service teams are always there to help.”