Coronavirus (COVID-19) and Our Sector

PRO Resources

PRO Knowledge Hub

PRO has created a forum for members to discuss and share resources. We have created a specific forum for COVID-19. Click here to login and join the discussion.  

PRO Webinars

See below for recordings of webinars PRO has hosted to provide information and resources during the COVID-19 pandemic. 

Entering the Virtual World: Bringing your Camps and Programs Online, April 29, 2020
Download the Slide Presentation
Watch the Webinar

The Impact of COVID-19 on Parks and Recreation, April 2, 2020
Download the Slide Presentation

Watch the Webinar

Sector Resources

Ontario Guidance Documents

Government of Ontario

Detailed list of Stage 1 Reopenings (May 15) - Note, any changes to provincial orders are expected by Tuesday

Ministry of Health

Guidance for emergeny child care

Provincial Guidance Documents

British Columbia 

Webinar on Cleaning Protocols (Aquatic Focus)

BC basic guidance for recreation facilities


Guidance for outdoor recreation
Guidance for day camps
Guidance for golf courses

Guidance for campgrounds

City of Lethbridge guidance for pickleball

New Brunswick Guidance for child care/children's programs

What is PRO Doing?

Prior to the Province declaring a state of emergency, PRO had made the difficult decision not to hold the upcoming Educational Forum and Trade Show on March 24-27. The Annual General Meeting, scheduled for March 26, 2020, has also been postponed and will happen via web-conference on June 18, 2020. PRO has also closed its physical office, opting instead for staff to work from home Monday to Thursday. PRO Senior Staff including CEO Cathy Denyer, and Directors Marion Price and Diane English are available five days per week. All PRO staff can still be reached by phone and email.

We ask for your patience as we explore our options to continue to provide you, our valued members, with opportunities for education and networking in a safe and healthy environment. We will be reaching out to all Forum registered delegates, exhibitors and sponsors regarding next steps very soon. We also continue to support organizations planning to hold HIGH FIVE trainings over the coming months.

PRO is also in contact with the Ministry of Heritage, Sport, Tourism and Culture Industries to provide them with information about the impact on our sector. Additionally, PRO, along with allied organizations like AMO, is calling on the government to extend the deadline for current regulatory postings.

As things have been changing daily, PRO is assessing the best way it can support its members. Your best source for information continues to be local public health, and the Ministry of Health website. However, as developments happen, PRO will be proactively providing information to its members either through teleconferences or email.

To get a glimpse on what the future of reopening Ontario may look like, PRO has been reviewing the re-opening plans of both the Saskatchewan and the New Brunswick governments. Click here to read the plan from Saskatchewan which will open parks and campgrounds on June 1st during phase 1, childcare facilities during phase 3 and recreation facilities during phase 4. Click here to read the plan from New Brunswick and see page 8 for details about opening outdoor recreation.

Assessing the Impact

The Ministry of Heritage, Sport, Tourism and Culture Industries is asking for feedback from the sector on the impact of the pandemic. They would also like your opinion on what government can do to support the sector. Click here to take the short survey.

What can local Parks and Recreation do?
The province-wide state of emergency means all indoor facilities providing recreation programs must be closed, along with licensed childcare. Some municipalities and other recreation providers had already taken this step, and we have no idea yet what may be coming in the next weeks or even months. Parks, trails and Conservation Authorities continue to provide opportunities for recreation, but we have also been told to practice social distancing. Here are a few common themes that are emerging:

Public Health Experts
Everyone should be working with their local public health officials to ensure that all public notices, procedures or policies are based on the current evidence. Things are changing so rapidly that we need to have open lines of communication.

Use of Public Outdoor Space
Public health officials are asking everyone to practice social distancing by keeping six feet of distance between individuals. In a playground, that can be a challenge for families. Again, work with your local public health unit to ensure you are responding appropriately and providing consistent messages to your citizens. Consider talking with your public health unit about providing guidance for outdoor play through signage, public service announcements or other methods of direct communication with the general public. Offer ideas for activities for families that limit close contact.

Taking the advice of public health, consider turning off outdoor drinking fountains and drinking fountains in other public buildings that remain open. Put up additional signage about hand hygiene in park washroom facilities if they remain open.

Long term impact on planning and staffing
The experts can’t yet predict when we will be “back to normal” or what the “new normal” might be. Contingency and emergency planning is going on in our communities, but we must also plan for a return to providing the vital programs and services. When the situation stabilizes, PRO will bring together senior leaders from across the province to discuss common approaches that we can take as a sector.

Important Websites

Government of Canada
Government of Ontario

Municipal World


National Advocacy

The CPRA has also been actively monitoring the impacts on the sector, providing resources and advocating the federal government for sector aid and support. See below for links to their national advocacy work. 

CPRA Activity Update - April 16, 2020

Briefing Note on COVID-19 Federal Aid Package

Summary of Federal Government Wage Subsidy Program

Recreation and Sport Recovery Program

COVID-19 Webpage


Contact Telehealth Ontario at 1-866-797-0000 or your local public health unit if you are experiencing symptoms of the 2019 novel coronavirus. Please do not visit an assessment centre unless you have been referred by a healthcare professional. Do not call 911 unless it is an emergency.