SUDBURY -- In light of the significant increase of COVID-19 cases in Ontario, West Nipissing is postponing plans to open the Sturgeon Falls Fitness Centre and Arena.

The Fitness Centre was scheduled to open Oct. 5, followed by the Arena on Oct. 13. But in a news release Wednesday, the municipality said both facilities, including the Pool at the Community and Recreation Centre, will now tentatively open Oct. 19.

"If the numbers of cases continue to increase, or further restrictions and guidelines are imposed by the province and/or health officials, the reopening may be further delayed," the release said.

"The health and well-being of our residents and staff is our priority. It is best to delay the opening of these facilities and welcome our residents back safely, rather than reopening and potentially having to shut down again."

While there isn't a large number of COVID-19 cases in the district, the release said they must take steps to ensure the numbers stay low.

"As we resume regular activities, we must continue to follow public health guidelines to reduce the spread of COVID-19," the release said. "Remember to wear a face-covering where needed, stay two metres from those who are outside of your household/social circle, and practice good hand hygiene."

An update will be provided closer to the reopening date.