Lions Club To Revisit Bingo Safety Plans

By Ben Hamill - November 23 2020

Lions Club To Revisit Bingo Safety Plans

The relief experienced by Bingo enthusiasts at the return of their favourite pastime to Parkdale Sherwood Lions Club after six months of no Bingo seems to have not been destined to last. Only two months of Bingo enjoyment later, as approved by the P.E.I. Chief Public Health Office, and the game is unfortunately once again stuck on pause.

According to Allan Hughes, who is the Chair of the Charlottetown club’s Bingo committee, despite the club feeling as if it had managed to orchestrate a good and safe setup, as well as the actual approval of its plan for operations already received in September, its permit to operate still got revoked a little over a week ago.

The club has been operating with several safeguards in place. These included solid barriers placed across all tables so as to promote physical distancing of at least two meters between guests.

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Space Has Been A Problem

According to P.E.I. Chief Public Health Officer Dr. Heather Morrison, the plan as originally approved only started to show its flaws once fully put into practice. Due to the actual volume of space taken up by the guests as well as by the barriers, said Morrison, only 60 people could ultimately be fit into the hall. This despite the fact that the local health authority had issued a permission for 100 players. This was in September – when the plan and reopening was first approved.

Hughes has in the meantime described the challenge faced by the club as that of 60 customers not being a number high enough so as to create economic viability. Limiting participation to only 60 patrons per night, said Hughes, would essentially lead to the club losing money instead of generating revenue.

Community Suffers Without Bingo

Since Bingo is such an important fundraising initiative, the club has been actively investigating alternative possibilities in terms of finding a solution to the challenge. The amount in funds raised by Bingo has a direct effect on what the club is able to allocate towards the community work and initiatives it supports, explained Hughes.

Morrison has in the meantime said that the vital work performed by the club in terms of community aid and fundraising hasn’t gone unnoticed by local officials. She said a local health and safety inspector will soon begin working with the club in an effort to come up with a solution that will benefit everybody involved.

The idea is for the club to be in position to continue Bingo nights – but in a health-conscious and safe way, said Morrison.

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