Curling clubs decide on reopening and protocols
BARRIE, ONT. -- The pandemic forced the closure of curling clubs across the region, but some clubs are back, with new safety measures.
The Barrie Curling Club has reopened with new rules and restrictions.
The list of new COVID-19 safety protocols to follow is long, including mandatory masks at all times, social distancing is necessary, along with hand sanitizing.
"Some leagues are choosing to curl with three players instead of four," said Barrie Curling Club manager Melanie Hughes. "If you do curl with four people per team, then you just have one sweeper at a time."
The Stroud Curling Club officially reopened on Sunday with 363 members, about 15 per cent less than last year.
"We are going with one sweeper-modifications that was suggested by Curling Canada," said club president Mike Nieleszeruk.
The locker rooms remain closed, but the bar will open once the COVID committee can make adjustments for safety reasons.
"We have curling every day and twice on Mondays, Wednesdays and Sundays," Nieleszeruk said.
Classes and leagues are full steam ahead in Collingwood, with restrictions.
Bob Riches, Collingwood Curling Club president, said it's game on with five sheets of ice this year.
"We have all kinds of wearing masks and cleaning stuff, so we have less curling per day than we usually do just to make the space available," Riches said.
The Stayner Curling Club may open in January - if there is enough interest.
The board said it needs about 125 to 130 curlers to make it financially viable.
The Orillia Curling Club announced it would not open this season.
In a statement, the club stated, "After surveying our membership twice, the majority of members concerned about their health during this pandemic indicated they would not be curling."
The club is planning a return in October 2021.