Aspen Recreation Center, youth center temporarily close because of COVID-19 positive |

Aspen Recreation Center, youth center temporarily close because of COVID-19 positive

The Aspen Recreation Center will be closed this weekend for a deep cleaning after a visitor tested positive for COVID-19.
Aspen Times file photo

The Aspen Recreation Center and the Aspen Youth Center closed Thursday and will remain so through at least the weekend after a Pitkin County resident and ARC visitor tested positive for COVID-19 on Wednesday. The facilities will undergo a deep cleaning with the hope of reopening next week.

The closure means the first weekend of Aspen Junior Hockey’s Fall Faceoff tournament, which was slated to get underway Thursday, has been canceled. 

“It is out of an abundance of caution that we are closing the ARC for at least three days in order to keep our community as safe as possible,” city manager Sara Ott said in a news release. “We strongly urge and remind the community that every individual action we take can prevent the spread of transmission.”

According to the release, local health officials identified more than 70 potential contacts and are continuing with contact tracing to determine the next steps. The ARC will “remain closed through the weekend at a minimum with the goal of opening the Aspen Youth Center by Monday for fall break if possible.”

After closing in March because of the initial outbreak of COVID-19, the fitness centers reopened to the public Oct. 5 with a strict reservation system in place and a limit of 50 people in the area of the ARC at one time. The facility was cleaned each hour and between users.

“This is a difficult decision and one that impacts a number of our community members as well as persons outside our community. We understand the tremendous effort it takes to make a change to an event like this and appreciate the ARC and City of Aspen team for partnering with us to minimize the spread,” said Suzuho Shimasaki, Pitkin County Public Health deputy director, in the release. “It’s through swift action and employing risk reduction strategies executed in a timely manner that will help us to have a successful fall and winter season.”

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