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From the Bellingham Park Department:
STARTING TUESDAY MARCH 24th, the city's SPORT COURTS, playgrounds, bike parks, skate park, and golf course WILL BE CLOSED.
Bellingham is committed to keeping our parks and trails open and safe for public use during the Covid-19 crisis. Starting last Monday, staff reorganized to enable two shifts to operate in two zones all around the City, 7 days a week, from 6:30 a.m. to 8:30 p.m.
Signage was installed over the weekend reminding everyone about safe social distancing in public parks and trails, and to follow the CDC guidelines.The crews are cleaning and disinfecting park restrooms and frequently touched areas. Since last week, all indoor facilities are closed, and water fountains turned off. All programs, events and reservations were cancelled through the end of April in City park facilities. Park construction projects are continuing during this health emergency.
In Whatcom County, as of 3/22:
Confirmed Cases** 48
Negative Results* 319
Deaths 2

May we all do our part to keep those numbers as low as possible.
Please be safe, and may you and your loved ones stay healthy.
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BPC will not be coordinating any activities, nor encouraging open play, including at Cornwall Park, until circumstances change regarding Covid-19.
Yes this breaks our hearts, but it is the only responsible thing to do given the current situation. It is incumbent on us as a community organization to exercise caution and comply with relevant official recommendations, guidelines, and laws.
Because we value the health and safety of our cherished community (yes, even above our love of pickleball), we are postponing everything. The USAPA has yet to provide an official statement, but has withdrawn sanctioning for tournaments for the next two months. Pickleball Canada has already made an official statement.
NOTE: BPC DOES NOT RECOMMEND PLAYING in open groups or large groups, and cannot even recommend playing in foursomes unless the four players all live together. While many will find this to be common sense, some likely may not.
FOR THOSE WHO CHOOSE TO CONTINUE TO PLAY, we encourage you to follow the recommendations below.

Any local play should only be undertaken if there is full compliance with the most stringent of current and relevant official guidelines and recommendations including Whatcom County, WA State, and the Federal Government/ CDC.
This includes respecting guidelines for:
> Group size limitations;
> Physical distancing;
> Staying home if you, or anyone around you, have been feeling unwell;
> Object sanitation (eg. ball, paddle, etc) and hand hygiene (including sneezing/coughing into arm, not touching face, hand sanitizing if washing hands is impractical, etc);
> Extra caution for high risk and vulnerable persons;

> AND VERY IMPORTANTLY, having an effective disease containment plan in place, referencing all components above, that is well articulated & understood throughout all players in a group.
Unlike normal times when BPC usually takes leadership in crafting plans, we will not be doing so in this situation beyond stating the above recommendations. At this time the Bellingham Park Department is leaving all outdoor facilities open to the public, but that could change at anytime, particularly if they see high risk behaviors taking place.
It is likely that the local North Sound YMCA Tournament will be cancelled or postponed, but that decision will be made later in the month by the YMCA.
These are tough times, and they won’t last forever, but we are all in this together. Please remember that your actions, both on the court and off, will have ripple effect consequences for others. This also applies to people who have no symptoms, but unknowingly might be transmitting the virus.

Thank you for acting responsibly.

BPC Board

Barbara Goebel, President (bagoebel@gmail.com; 360-441-5628 )

Stephen Dillon, Vice President

Maggi Kriger, Secretary

Terri Vossbeck, Treasurer

Catharine Vadar, At-Large

Gaby Gaiz, At-Large

Bob Hei, At-Large

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All indoor BPC-hosted pickleball sessions are cancelled until further notice due to gym closures related to Covid-19. While this makes us sad, the venue closures are for the health of the community to limit virus transmission.

This includes:
> Bellingham Schools(Fairhaven, Sehome, and all others);
> Meridian High School;
> Bellingham Covenant Church, beginner and novice sessions.

If you make the personal choice to play pickleball in other venues, indoors or out, we highly recommend you use excellent hygiene measures & physical distance to minimize the potential spread from person to person. And of course, cover sneezes & coughs with your arm, avoid physical contact, and don’t come if you feel sick at all, or have been around people who are sick.
During this time it may be safer to play in small closed groups with agreed upon hygiene practices than in an open group. If you are in a high risk health category, we recommend that you not play in open groups.
We think these pickleball venues are still open, but that could change any minute.
Birch Bay Activity Center
Outdoor Public Park Facilities
NOTE, Looking ahead:
BPC will set up a calendar of skill-level sessions in the afternoon & evenings at the parks, similar to last year. Bellingham Park Dep't allows us to reserve four courts for these sessions as long as they are: Open to the general public; On the website calendar; Posted on Cornwall Kiosk; AND there is a “Host” present.
Sessions can only happen if there is a host, so please let us know if you might be interested in hosting or co-hosting a session of your choice, . Appropriate support provided. Sessions will start by Memorial Day for sure, and potentially as early as April, weather & Covid-19 permitting, as long as there are volunteer hosts.

Stay healthy!

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