Irvine City Council Approves Four-Phase Reopening Plan, Eases Some Restrictions
City of Irvine to offer free COVID-19 testing for residents
Tennis and pickleball courts set to reopen under new guidelines
At its meeting on May 12, the Irvine City Council approved a four-phase plan for reopening City facilities, services, and programs that is guided by the State’s Resilience Roadmap.
The plan allows for tennis and pickleball courts to reopen as the State moves into Stage 2 of its roadmap. Courts will be open by Friday, May 15 for singles play and one-on-one City-led instruction with safety guidelines in place.
When the State moves into Stage 3, City playgrounds can reopen. City athletic fields, basketball and volleyball courts, and stadiums can also reopen for practices and games in Stage 3. Facilities, including Senior Centers will open with strict social distancing and sanitization protocols in Stage 4. The complete four-phase plan is available here.
The Council decided to maintain compliance with state directives regarding swimming pools, which are not yet permitted to open. The City will offer online aquatics safety courses, in addition to expanded online classes in arts and recreation.
“We know that residents are anxious for City facilities and amenities to reopen,” stated Mayor Christina Shea. “We all look forward to the day when our fields and courts are busy with athletic events and our senior centers and community centers are full, but we must carefully reopen in a way that protects the health and well-being of our residents and City staff. This plan meets that goal and falls in line with California’s Resilience Roadmap.”
The City’s reopening plan calls for traditional summer programs and all-day summer camps that were scheduled to begin in June to be restructured. The City will incrementally phase in lower risk site-based activities at Community Parks and the Irvine Fine Arts Center, focusing first on outdoor activities. No field trips, excursions, or transport will be allowed.
When State Guideline allow, the Irvine Ranch Conservancy can resume docent-led tours with groups of less than 10 people, following proper protocols, as well as open access days in the Irvine Open Space Preserve, with staggered, monitored attendance. Advance registration, social distancing, and PPE will be required.
The Sizzlin’ Summer Concerts and Movies on the Lawn will continue with modifications. The Sizzlin’ Summer Concert series is tentatively scheduled to begin July 12 at the Orange County Great Park. The five-concert series will be presented in drive-in format. Attendees can park their cars and enjoy a picnic from home or purchase food from a gourmet food truck. Social distancing protocols will be in place.
Movies on the Lawn will also be held in drive-in format at the Great Park beginning August 1.
To assist reopening of restaurants, the City Council voted to proceed with an expedited plan to allow expanded outdoor dining for restaurants. Patios, common areas, and parking areas will be utilized to provide dispersed seating and queuing, maximizing social distancing in an open air environment. This would take place later in Stage 2 at the directive of the State.
Also, the Irvine City Council unanimously voted to implement a COVID-19 drive-through testing program. Beginning the week of May 26, the City of Irvine will provide testing for its residents in a drive-through format. Free antigen testing will be available to all Irvine residents, even if they are asymptomatic.
“As the Councilmember that brought this initiative forward, I am proud to say that we will be able to free offer testing to our community” said Vice Mayor Mike Carroll. “We want to extend testing to as many people as possible; adding antigen testing will reinforce the expansive health and safety efforts we have put in place since day one.”
The testing site will be located at the Orange County Great Park, and will also accommodate pedestrians and bicyclists. Additional information will be provided in the coming days, including details about how to register for an appointment.