Kuentz Recreation Center projects to begin May 4

The Kuentz Recreation Center will be receiving a new look this year as several construction projects are scheduled for over the next five months.

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Golf cart, equipment rentals end April 3

Further restrictions aimed at safety As another precaution to keep our golfers and employees safe, the Rec Centers of Sun City West will no longer be issuing rental carts, pull carts or clubs, effective on closing April 3. Those who...

Coronavirus Information

Residents, we wanted to clean up some confusion we have been seeing on our social media pages.  There has been a lot of back and forth about whether or not there are any cases in Sun City West, with some people believing there are no cases because the state has not reported any “Sun City West” cases.

We want everyone to know that all the SCW cases will be reported as “Maricopa County” cases.  Do not expect to see a number for SCW.  Additionally, we know that the lack of testing availability means some of our Covid-19 cases are not reported in official numbers and some of these people are caring for themselves at home.

Local emergency personnel have confirmed they are responding to and treating an increased number of Covid-19 cases in Sun City West.  Because of our populations age, this is especially concerning.

Please do not let this period of silent spread lull you into a feeling that you do not need to social distance.  Steps already taken in this community to keep residents safe HAS made a difference and our community is seeing fewer Covid-related calls than some other areas, but that doesn’t mean it’s not here and spreading.  It is.

If you are having a medical emergency, whether it’s related to Covid-19 symptoms or something else, call 911 (let them know if you suspect Covid so they can take proper precautions). If your symptoms are mild, care for yourself at home.

Be safe.  Stay home.  Share this information with your friends and neighbors.  Please give this a couple weeks to play out and we will have a better handle on the extent of the problem.  Listen to the CDC and heed their advice.

We’re all in this together.  Thank you.

PRESS RELEASE

5/13/20

Sun City West Library to offer curbside pickup

The R.H. Johnson Library will offer curbside pickup for items on hold beginning Tuesday, May 19, and will be available from 8 to 11 a.m. Tuesday through Saturday.

Here is what residents need to know to participate in curbside pickup at the Library:

Who can pick up my items?
Anyone may pick up your items, but they must present your rec card. Staff will not release items to those without a rec card.

How do I reserve items?
You can reserve most titles online or over the phone. Requests are limited to five items per customer at a time. There is no fee for this service.

What if I have items on hold but do not feel comfortable using the curbside service?
Your name will stay on the hold list but if after three days from when we call to let you know your hold is available we will check the item out to the next person on the hold list and move your name down so when we open the library you will be first on the hold list.

What if I no longer want to check out the items I have on hold?
Please call 623-544-6130 and we can remove the item from your hold our you can do remove your hold online at catalog.scwlibrary.com.

How does curbside pickup work?
1. Reserve items at catalog.scwlibrary.com or by calling 623-544-6130.
2. Once items become available the resident will be notified. That person then may pick them up only during Curbside hours. You do not need to call ahead or book an appointment.
3. When arriving, follow the posted signs to find the designated parking area at the main entrance to the library.
4. STAY IN YOUR CAR and one of our staff members will approach your window from a safe distance to ask you for your rec card number.
5. When they return with your items, please open the back of your vehicle so the staff member may safely place your items inside.

When are my items due?
The R.H. Johnson Library has postponed all late fines until a week after the library reopens.

Where do I return items?
You may only return items via the drop boxes, which have 24-hour access. All items will be placed in quarantine for 72 hours before being placed back on shelves. Please allow 72 hours before your account will show your items as returned.

I returned my items, but my account says they are not checked back in yet.
To ensure the safety of our staff and customers, we are placing all returned items into quarantine for 72 hours before checking those items in. Your items should be marked returned shortly after that period.

What are the safety precautions your staff is taking?
All staff members are required to wear a face mask when interacting with the public, and will practice social distancing from other staff members and members of the public during the curbside service. All items checked back into R.H. Johnson Library during this time will be placed in a 72-hour quarantine before being placed back on shelves.

PRESS RELEASE

5/4/20

Virtual Public Budget Forum, meetings scheduled

The Recreation Centers of Sun City West has scheduled several important meetings in the next couple of weeks, and invites residents to participate via livestreaming.

Here is the upcoming meeting schedule. Digital links will be published at suncitywest.com; members can click on the links at the time the meetings are set to begin, and watch a live stream of the proceedings. Questions may be sent at any time during the meetings to questions@suncitwyest.com, and the Board or General Manager will try to answer as many as possible during the meeting.

• 9 a.m. Friday, May 8: Governing Board Workshop
• 9 a.m. Monday, May 11: Community (Budget) Forum
• 10 a.m. Tuesday, May 12: Budget & Finance Committee Meeting
• 9 a.m. Friday, May 15: Governing Board Workshop
• 9 a.m. Thursday, May 28: Regular Board Meeting and Budget Approval

Community members are encouraged to tune into these virtual meetings. The recordings will be available after the meetings conclude by visiting suncitywest.com/gbvideos.

PRESS RELEASE

4/29/20

Golf opens Monday; other facilities remain closed

The Recreation Centers of Sun City West reminds residents that although five golf courses will open on Monday, the other facilities including chartered clubs remain closed.

Stardust, Grandview, Echo Mesa, Trail Ridge and Deer Valley will open to residents on Monday. Pebblebrook and Desert Trails remain closed until fall for overseeding and maintenance. Social distancing restrictions will be in place at the five courses on Monday; the courses will remain closed to the public with the exception of registered public players.

There has been some confusion that chartered clubs will reopen as well on Monday. That is not the case. The Rec Centers is working on a Recovery and Reopening Plan for its other facilities. However, reopening even under the plan with restrictions in place, will follow the federal “Opening Up America Again” approach, which requires a downward trajectory of Covid cases over a 14-day period.

Arizona Gov. Doug Ducey announced a testing blitz, which aims to test 10,000 to 20,000 Arizonans every Saturday for three consecutive weeks, beginning Saturday, May 2. “We can expect to see our numbers increase after that date,” said RCSCW General Manager Bill Schwind. “But that doesn’t explain the leap in cases we saw last weekend before the blitz began.”

Sun City West’s zip code saw a jump from “6-10” cases on April 26 to 45 on April 27. There are 47 reported as of today. There is a reported 4-7 day lag time between testing and reporting, according to the Arizona Department of Health Services website.

Of particular concern is the impact Covid-19 has on those 65 and older, particularly those with a chronic condition. According to Maricopa County, people who are at least 65 and have a chronic condition account for: 43 percent of all cases in the county; 73 percent of the hospitalizations; 77 percent of the ICU admissions; and 98 percent of those who have died.

The Rec Centers will release its Recovery and Reopening Plan as soon as possible. In the meantime, please check suncitywest.com for further announcements, and the Arizona Department of Health Services’ Data Dashboard at azdhs.gov for the latest case information.

PRESS RELEASE

4/21/20

Coronavirus: RCSCW schedules golf reopening May 4

The Recreation Centers of Sun City West is prepping for an eventual reopening with safety procedures in place, beginning with golf on May 4.

Golfers who want to hit the links as soon as possible will want to put money on their membership accounts as no cash will be accepted during the first phase of reopening. Golfers can call any of the seven courses to put money on their accounts to be used for golf, although only five of the courses will reopen on May 4.

Golf staff will be available via phone from 7 am. to 5:30 p.m. beginning Monday, April 27, to book a tee time, add credit to your member account, or answer questions about play. Visit https://suncitywest.com/golf-course-contact-us/ for contact information. Beginning Monday, May 4: Stardust, Grandview, Echo Mesa, Trail Ridge, Deer Valley will be open for golfing with restrictions listed below. Pebblebrook and Desert Trails will be closed until fall for overseeding and maintenance.

The Rec Centers closed its seven golf courses on April 14, with the timing aimed at eliminating resident and employee exposure as Arizona headed into its estimated peak Covid-19 weeks. Sun City West has fared well according to the Arizona Department of Health Services zip code map.

“We firmly believe the low number of cases is a result of our early closures and cautious approach early on,” said General Manager Bill Schwind. “Letting up now would be a mistake, and we do not want to see a fresh spike in cases due to lifting too many restrictions too early. Golf will reopen, but we expect members to abide by the safety precautions and restrictions in place.”

Those restrictions include:

• Golf will be open to MEMBERS and public card holders ONLY during the first phase; guests will not be allowed.
• The first phase will be member credit and credit card payments only.
• The driving range will be open, but there will be no cash available for making change for the machines.
• Beginning April 29, members and public card holders (without guests) can make lottery requests for tee times that are for May 4, 2020.
• Golfers must socially distance; no gathering before or after rounds or in parking lots is permitted.
• Each golfer should have their own cart, unless they live in the same household.
• No concessions will be sold.

Rec Centers officials are still watching state infection figures closely before announcing plans for the rest of the facilities. “Chartered Clubs and other facilities will not reopen until a later date, due to the difficulty in enforcing social distancing in those locations,” said Schwind. “We are working on plans for their eventual reopening as well.”

Members should watch suncitywest.com for the latest details. They can sign up for the weekly enews through the website as well.

PRESS RELEASE

4/21/20

Rec Centers’ clarifies member dues questions

The Rec Centers reminds residents that despite the Covid-19 closures, member dues payments must be paid as usual, per the facilities agreement every member signs when they join the Association.

Dues are used to cover many of the Association’s operation expenses, from fertilizer and chemicals, to utilities, insurance and personnel including Membership, Human Resources, Finance, Information Technology, Facility Maintenance, etc. Dues do not guarantee admittance to the club facilities, recreation centers or golf courses.

“Safety comes first, and always has,” said General Manager Bill Schwind. “As soon as it is safe to allow our residents back on the golf courses, into the Library, Village Store and Sports Pavilion, and into all our recreation centers and club rooms, we will certainly do that. In the meantime, we need residents to understand that these dues support the whole organization, and are not entrance fees.”

Taking its lead from the federal and state governments, as well as many banking authorities, the Rec Centers will not place late fees on anyone whose dues were payable after April 1, but will begin implementing them again on July 15. Members will need to bring their accounts into balance by then.

However, members will not be in good standing once the facilities reopen until dues are paid in full. This includes golfers, who must be in good standing when the courses reopen in order to play, as the courses will be closed to nonmembers during the initial phase of reopening.

Members who have questions about their dues, or new residents with membership questions, can call Member Services at 623-544-6100 between 8:30 and 11:30 a.m. weekdays.

 

PRESS RELEASE

4/13/20

Coronavirus: RCSCW preps for golf course closures

The Recreation Centers of Sun City West is prepping for the closure of its seven golf courses Tuesday, with the timing aimed at eliminating resident and employee exposure as Arizona heads into its estimated peak Covid-19 weeks.

According to the University of Washington’s Covid-19 model, Arizona is expected to see its peak number of cases on April 26, and peak deaths per day on April 27. Overall, Arizona is estimated to suffer 974 deaths by Aug. 4.

“Obviously, those are projections, and the estimates change almost daily,” said General Manager Bill Schwind. “But our decision to close our last open amenity – golf – is based on watching these estimated dates, as well as the growing concern over our age group, which is most susceptible to this disease.”

According to Maricopa County Public Health’s Covid-19 Daily Report, “The risk of being admitted to a hospital, Intensive Care Unit, or dying due to Covid-19 infection increases with age.” Additionally, “People who are 65+ years of age OR who have a chronic medical condition area at highest risk for severe disease.”

“Early interventions by the Rec Centers have saved lives in the community of Sun City West,” said Deputy Fire Chief/Fire Marshal Eric Kriwer with Arizona Fire and Medical Authority. “We are just entering our curve in the state. Now we need to be focused during the coming weeks on trying to stay home unless leaving is essential, wearing masks when in public, practicing excellent hand washing, and limiting exposure by social/physical distancing.

“Further action such as temporarily holding off on golfing and keeping gatherings at a minimum will continue to save lives in our community,” Kriwer added. “Be a great neighbor, reach out via telephone or Facetime, send emails to loved ones, and together, we will get past this.”

Sun City West, which began announcing event cancelations as early as March 9, followed by rec center closures and now golf, has an estimated 6 to 10 confirmed Covid cases as of Monday, lower than the surrounding zip codes, according to the Arizona Department of Health Services’ newly published zip code map. There is a severe lack of testing availability in the state; cases that are not confirmed through hospitalization or a coronavirus test do not appear in the stats. At the state level, 78 of the 115 deaths as of Sunday were 65 and older. For Maricopa County, the numbers show 79 percent of those who died in the county from Covid-19 were 65 or older; 63 percent had a chronic medical condition. Patients with one of those two high risk categories combined (age or chronic condition) accounted for 96 percent of the deaths in Maricopa County.

Additionally, 30 long-term care facilities have had at least one resident with Covid-19. The Rec Centers will provide a link to the county’s report on its website at suncitywest.com/covid19.

“This is the demographic in Sun City West. Our average age is 74, and many residents have chronic conditions,” said Schwind. “We’ve kept golf open as long as we thought it was safe. But with cases in Sun City West increasing and the peak just around the corner, it’s time to close them and let everyone get through this peak safely.”

The golf courses will close at end of business on Monday, April 13. Sun City West joins the 45 percent of golf courses that have closed nationally due to Covid-19. That number is growing, with the Southwestern states around Arizona, including California, Nevada and New Mexico, having already closed their courses.

In Sun City West, maintenance projects that were scheduled a couple weeks from now will be moved forward. This includes aerification and other work. All residents are advised that the closures mean no walking, biking, golfing or other activities will be allowed. The maintenance work and potential mixed use creates an unacceptable hazard. Flags and cups have been removed from the course to discourage trespassing. To ensure residents comply with the closures, Player Assistants who usually work the courses to help golfers during play, will be reassigned to patrol the courses and ensure there is no trespassing.

The Rec Centers is taking this action as an extension of its earlier progression of closures as the state and nation deal with the spread of coronavirus. The Rec Centers Pandemic Task Force and key staff are meeting regularly and will reevaluate that closure date as the situation across the state unfolds.

Member dues are still being accepted via mail, the online portal or a drop box in front of the Member Services Office. Member dues WILL NOT be prorated due to the pandemic. For an explanation of what member dues fund, visit suncitywest.com/covid19. Those who underpay on their dues will not be in good standing when the Rec Centers reopen.

The Rec Centers is working closely with Arizona Fire and Medical Authority, as well as taking guidance from the Centers for Disease Control and Arizona Department of Health Services to provide updates. Information can be found online at suncitywest.com/covid19 and by following the Recreation Centers of Sun City West on all their social media:

• Facebook: Recreation Centers of Sun City West
• Twitter: @rcscw
• Instagram: @suncitywest_az
• Updates also are being shared on Sun City West radio station KSCW 103.1 FM.

PRESS RELEASE

4/6/20

Coronavirus: Golf courses to close Tuesday, April 14

The Recreation Centers of Sun City West today announces its seven golf courses will close on Tuesday, April 14. They will remain closed until further notice.

The Rec Centers is taking this action as an extension of its earlier progression of closures as the state and nation deal with the spread of coronavirus.

“The governor has not mandated the closure of golf courses, but we believe the time has come to take this action to protect against the spread of coronavirus,” said General Manager Bill Schwind. “We had taken several measures prior to this to ensure our golfers were socially distancing themselves, not touching flag poles or the cups, not renting our golf carts. But want to continue being at the forefront of this, so our courses will close on April 14.”

Residents make tee times seven days in advance in SCW, so this future date means no tee times will be canceled, but no additional times for play after April 14 will be accepted. “We understand many of our golfers have prepaid for discount cards (Kachina, Coyote and Annual). This is being taken into consideration. Please bear with us as we work out the details and check suncitywest.com for updates,” Schwind said.

Maintenance at the golf courses will continue, and aerification projects will be moved forward to take advantage of the closure. This means the golf courses are CLOSED to the community. Player Assistants will be reassigned to patrol the courses. No walking, biking, dog walking, or unscheduled golf will be allowed. Any residents found trespassing may be subject to a loss of their membership privileges when the facilities reopen.

The recreation centers including outdoor amenities continue to be closed. “We understand our residents are out there using some of the outdoor spaces for walking,” Schwind said. “We aren’t going to police those areas at this time, but we ask our members to please practice social distancing and wear masks. Covid-19 is not something to take your chances with, especially given our community’s demographics. The community sidewalks, which are more extensive, may provide a better opportunity to get outside without getting close to others. We encourage residents to exercise there, not on the limited spaces on our walking tracks and sports fields.”

The Rec Centers Pandemic Task Force and key staff are meeting regularly and will reevaluate that closure date as the situation across the state unfolds.

Staff is working with the Governing Board to stay on schedule with its budgeting process by hosting virtual meetings. Four committee meetings were held last week. A Workshop scheduled for this Friday will be held virtually. Look for details at suncitywest.com.

Member dues are still being accepted via mail, the online portal or a drop box in front of the Member Services Office. Anyone who is late on dues that are payable after April 1 will have late fees waived, but dues are still required per the agreement each homeowner signs when buying a home in Sun City West. Dues go toward maintaining and operating the facilities, and are not a guarantee of facility availability. The Rec Centers will reopen the facilities as soon as it is feasible without jeopardizing resident safety.

The Rec Centers is working closely with Arizona Fire and Medical Authority, as well as taking guidance from the Centers for Disease Control and Arizona Department of Health Services to provide updates. Information can be found online at suncitywest.com/covid19 and by following the Recreation Centers of Sun City West on all their social media:

• Facebook: Recreation Centers of Sun City West
• Twitter: @rcscw
• Instagram: @suncitywest_az

Updates also are being shared on Sun City West radio station KSCW 103.1 FM.

PRESS RELEASE

3/23/20

Coronavirus: SCW closures extended through May 3

The Recreation Centers of Sun City West today announcesthe facility closures enacted earlier this month to protect against the spread of coronavirus will remain in effect until Sunday, May 3. The Rec Centers Pandemic Task Force and key staff are meeting regularly and will reevaluate that closure date as the situation across the state unfolds.

Through at least May 3, all recreation centers, the bowling center, library and other facilities with the exception of golf will remain closed. Golf courses are open with certain restrictions to ensure social distancing. This includes limiting time in the pro shop; golfers are encouraged to put money on their accounts so they can pay over the phone or with minimal interaction at the pro shop counter.

Other restrictions at the golf courses are listed below. “We understand these new virus protection measures in golf are not popular, but we are asking for our members’ cooperation. These changes are consistent with the USGA and other golf courses,” said General Manager Bill Schwind. “Anyone caught removing the cup inserts or otherwise removing our protections will have their golf privileges suspended.”

A skeleton crew is working in administration as of now, although that may change depending on what restrictions Gov. Doug Ducey may put in place. Member Services is available from 8:30 to 11:30 a.m. weekdays to take dues payments over the phone, and to enter those payments coming in by mail. There is also a mailbox drop outside the main gates in front of Member Services.

Member dues are not refundable and not optional, per the agreement each homeowner signs when buying a home in Sun City West. Dues go toward maintaining and operating the facilities, and are not a guarantee of facility availability. The Rec Centers will reopen the facilities as soon as it is feasible without jeopardizing resident safety.

Members are asked not to call Member Services with generic questions as staff is very limited and the reception desk as well as other departments are closed and unstaffed at this time. New owners who have questions may call Member Services at 623-544-6100 during the hours above.

The Rec Centers is working closely with Arizona Fire and Medical Authority, as well as taking guidance from the Centers for Disease Control and Arizona Department of Health Services to provide updates. Information can be found online at suncitywest.com/covid19 and by following the Recreation Centers of Sun City West on all their social media:

• Facebook: Recreation Centers of Sun City West
• Twitter: @rcscw
• Instagram: @suncitywest_az

Updates also are being shared on Sun City West radio station KSCW 103.1 FM.

Additional measures that have been taken at the golf courses:

• The Crooked Putter and concessions at the other pro shops have been closed.
• PVC sleeves have been placed in the cups so balls will not drop and can be removed with little to no contact with the cups.
• Flag sticks are to remain untouched.
• Bunker rakes have been removed; staff will rake bunkers each morning as part of daily course set up.
• Divot mix scoops have been removed; golfers should fill their own containers before going out.
• All ball and club washers have been removed from service.
• All Association carts are cleaned and sanitized between users.
• Cart policies have been modified and golfers are now encouraged to ride one to a cart.
• Tables and chairs have been removed to discourage congregating; no congregating is allowed on the patio or clubhouse areas.
• Shotguns, tournaments, group putting and special events have been eliminated until further notice.

Until further notice, all tee times will now be made online or via phone. To book a tee time online, please visit suncitywest.com and click “Golf” at the very top of the page. On the next page hit the “Reservation” button, which will take you to the golf reservation page. This page goes over all the tee time reservation policies, as well as provides a link to the online reservation portal. (If you have not used the member portal before, you will need your rec card number and email address to set up an account.)

To book a tee time through the phone, call the pro shop at the golf course where you wish to play:

Regulation Courses
Deer Valley: 623-544-6016
Grandview: 623-544-6013
Pebblebrook: 623-544-6010
Trail Ridge: 623-544-6015

Executive Courses
Desert Trails: 623-544-6017
Echo Mesa: 623-544-6014
Stardust: 623-544-6012

PRESS RELEASE

3/18/20

Coronavirus: Sun City West Golf to implement more
Covid-19 precautions

As the Coronavirus situation in Arizona continues to rapidly evolve, Recreation Centers of Sun City West Golf Operations has decided to implement new safety precautions at all seven golf courses in order to help create more social distancing between golfers and staff.

Until further notice, all tee times will now be made online or through the phone. To book a tee time online, please visit suncitywest.com and click “Golf” at the very top of the page. On the next page hit the “Reservation” button, which will take you to the golf reservation page. This page goes over all the tee time reservation policies, as well as provides a link to the online reservation portal.

To book a tee time through the phone, please call the pro shop at the golf course where you wish to play:

Regulation Courses
Deer Valley: 623-544-6016
Grandview: 623-544-6013
Pebblebrook: 623-544-6010
Trail Ridge: 623-544-6015

Executive Courses
Desert Trails: 623-544-6017
Echo Mesa: 623-544-6014
Stardust: 623-544-6012

The current golf cart policy has been modified for the foreseeable future. Golfers are now allowed to ride as a single in their personal golf carts. Golf Operations will continue to rent out fleet carts to those who need them in order to play golf, but with a limited number available at each golf course, the possibility of running short could occur. All fleet carts are being sanitized between users. This policy will remain in effect until the Recreation Centers of Sun City West deems it best to revert back to the original cart policy.

Golfers are also asked to use the cart paths as much as possible during this time in order to minimize the amount of cart traffic.

In addition to the tee time and golf cart changes, Sun City West Golf Courses will also start implementing the following changes for the foreseeable future.

• No shot guns will be used in order to have the fewest number of golfers together at the same time
• All group putting club events are canceled
• Snack shops and food concessions are closed. This includes the Crooked Putter.
• All patio furniture has been removed
• No one will be allowed to congregate on the patios or in pro shops until further notice
• Golfers will be encouraged to complete all transactions with a credit card or member credit, limiting the amount of cash used during this time

As always, golfers and residents are highly encouraged to keep close tabs on the situation by visiting suncitywest.com/covid19 and by following the Recreation Centers of Sun City West on all their social media pages.

• Facebook: Recreation Centers of Sun City West
• Twitter: @rcscw
• Instagram: @suncitywest_az

PRESS RELEASE

3/12/20

Rec Centers updates coronavirus closure plans

After further consideration following residents’ feedback, the Rec Centers is canceling Spring Fest this weekend.

The Association heard from many residents who suggested the Spring Fest should be canceled for residents’ safety, following Wednesday’s announcement that other facilities were closing and events being canceled as a precaution against coronavirus. With low turnout predicted anyway due to the soggy conditions, the Rec Centers announced this morning the Spring Fest is canceled. The 5K Race on March 28 also is canceled.

Staff is still working out whether these events and others can be rescheduled or how refunds/credits will be issued. These details have not yet been determined, and residents are asked to be patient and give us time to work out the details.

We have notified Maricopa County of our closure since Beardsley Rec Center was scheduled as a polling place during Tuesday’s primary. Please contact the County to see where the new polling places are located, as election officials have moved several polling places from senior communities due to coronavirus concerns.

Additionally, the Rec Centers would like to clarify any confusion about whether outdoor facilities and spaces will remain open. To limit the financial hit on the Association, the golf courses will remain open to golfers, with limited person-to-person contact. No concessions or beverages will be sold, and golfers are asked to limit their time in the pro shop. Golfers should check in at the pro shop and go to their carts before being called to the tee. To reduce congestion, golfers should not socialize in the pro shop or on the patio.

All other outdoor venues and events are closed. This includes:

• Softball field and clubhouse
• All Pickleball courts
• All Tennis courts
• Both mini golf courses
• Bocce courts
• Lawn bowling
• Beardsley Park• All courtyards
• Both dog parks
• All walking tracks

These closures will remain in effect until March 30. Staff will reevaluate the situation prior to that date to see if any changes should be made.

“We understand what an inconvenience this is for our members and guests,” said General Manager Bill Schwind. “This is the right decision for the safety of our members. We know not everyone agrees with us, but safety is first, and the long-term financial security of the Association is second. That is why golf remains open with limited person-to-person contact. All other facilities are closed. We are working with the Broadcast Club to allow very limited access to their studio so they can do public service announcements on this situation.”

Members who need to pay their dues can mail them to the R.H. Johnson Recreation Center, 19803 R.H. Johnson Blvd., Sun City West, AZ 85375; or call 623-544-6100 to pay by phone with a credit card. Those who plan to golf are encouraged to put money on their accounts by calling that number.

Residents are advised to watch suncitywest.com and sign up for the Rec Centers’ enews or follow us on our social media pages for the latest information.

• Facebook: Recreation Centers of Sun City West
• Twitter: @rcscw
• Instagram: @suncitywest_az

PRESS RELEASE

3/11/20

Coronavirus: Rec Centers enacts two-week closure

With our residents’ safety always our No. 1 priority, the Recreation Centers of Sun City West is taking the unprecedented step of closing all of its indoor facilities effective 5 p.m. Thursday due to concerns about coronavirus. The facilities will remain closed for a two-week period, tentatively reopening Monday, March 30.

“This has been a difficult decision for us, one that we have been weighing for a few weeks now,” stated General Manager Bill Schwind. “What it comes down to is, safety has always been our first priority in all that we do, from budgeting decisions to maintenance priorities. With the coronavirus, there are a lot of unknowns, which has made this decision even harder. But what we do know is we have a high-risk population just based on age. Add in all the club rooms and confined spaces where these residents gather, we believe the time has come to mitigate the risks as much as possible.”

There are no known cases of Covid-19 in the community. However, several state and national agencies and officials – including the Centers of Disease Control and Prevention, Gov. Doug Ducey, and Arizona Fire and Medical Authority – have urged individuals who are at elevated risk for Covid-19 complications, to curtail their activities and their contact with others.

Those older than 60 are considered higher risk, with that risk increasing with age. Additionally, those with heart disease, diabetes, lung disease and other chronic conditions are considered higher risk. “The Rec Centers has 27,224 members. Nearly 100 percent of the 27,224 members are older than 55,” said Schwind. “Some 45 percent of those are older than 75; this doesn’t include the oldest of our population who live in care facilities and aren’t members of the Association but do interact with our members.”

The CDC advice states: “ If you are at higher risk for serious illness from COVID-19 because of your age or because you have a serious long-term health problem, it is extra important for you to take actions to reduce your risk of getting sick with the disease.”

The four Recreation Centers, Sports Pavilion, Library, Village Store and Administrative Offices will be closed. All club facilities will be closed. Club members are advised to remove their personal items from the club rooms prior to 5 p.m. Thursday if they will need access to in the next few weeks.

Due to the fact the golf courses are not in an enclosed space, the seven golf courses will not be closed at this time. The pro shops will remain open to check-in golfers, and the heightened disinfection procedures already in place will continue. The golf courses and pro shops may be closed in the future if circumstances warrant.

Members who need to pay their dues can mail them to the R.H. Johnson Recreation Center, 19803 R.H. Johnson Blvd., Sun City West, AZ 85375; or call 623-544-6100 to pay by phone with a credit card. Those who plan to golf are encouraged to put money on their accounts by calling that number.

Residents are advised to watch suncitywest.com and sign up for the Rec Centers’ enews or follow us on our social media pages for the latest information.

• Facebook: Recreation Centers of Sun City West
• Twitter: @rcscw
• Instagram: @suncitywest_az

All Board meetings and Committee meetings scheduled during this two-week closure will be canceled. Happy Camp was canceled earlier this week. In addition, the Rec Centers will cancel the Spring Fair (which was scheduled March 21), as well as the Easter Egg Hunt in Beardsley Park (April 11) as those activities have a high number of outside visitors and children. No other special events have been canceled at this time, including this weekend’s outdoor Spring Fest, but that could change at any time and residents are advised to heed the CDC’s advice if they are high-risk. The last Top Hat shows (“Aretha”) at 3 and 7 p.m. Thursday at Palm Ridge will continue as planned.

Those who have booked trips and tours, or who have purchased special event tickets, are advised to consider their own health situations when making decisions on whether to participate in those activities. We will notify the community of any changes to these ticketed events and bookings as this situation evolves.

Rec Centers’ staff will remain on campus during the closure, and will focus on cleaning, maintenance, and handling any administrative work including that associated with the closures and cancelations. Employees who are at high risk for Covid-19 complications are advised to talk to their supervisors for guidance.

Residents are encouraged to visit the CDC website at cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov for information and guidance on how to mitigate their own risks and prepare themselves and their families. Residents are advised to watch suncitywest.com and sign up for the Rec Centers’ enews or follow us on Twitter at @rcscw to stay abreast of local conditions pertaining to the Rec Centers. Any event cancelations or facility closures will be announced there. Arizona Fire and Medical Authority is the local agency responsible for working with residents throughout the community. Follow AZFMA on Twitter at @azfireauthority.com or visit afma.az.gov.

PRESS RELEASE

3/9/20 MORE

Coronavirus: Sun City West readies for possible closures/cancelations; Happy Camp canceled

Out of an abundance of caution and due to the high number of out of state visitors at this time of year, the Recreation Centers of Sun City West advises residents to be aware that event cancellations or facility closures could happen at any time. Residents who are at higher risk of infection are advised to avoid social situations and group settings.

“Coronavirus in Arizona is a rapidly evolving situation. We don’t know what the Covid-19 cases will look like in two weeks, but we do know Arizona will have more, as will the rest of the country,” said General Manager Bill Schwind. “We want to be sure to give all our residents, including those who are expecting guests, as much time as possible to make alternative plans if they choose. That’s why we are putting out this notice now, even though no local cases have been reported.”

The Rec Center is canceling its Happy Camp programming, which was scheduled to begin March 23 and invites participation from youngsters who are visiting their grandparents. “We know our residents love this annual two week long celebration with their visiting grandchildren, but safety comes first, so this event has been canceled,” Schwind said.

As for other events and activities planned in Sun City West, decisions regarding closures or cancellations will be made as more is known. “We have a Covid-19 plan in place and can make decisions quickly, as the need arises,” Schwind said.

Residents are advised to take precautions to safeguard their own health, particularly residents who are at higher risk. Per the CDC, older adults and those with a chronic medical condition such as heart disease, diabetes or lung disease are at higher risk for Covid-19 complications. “As of right now, there are no known cases of Covid-19 in our area, but that could change at any time,” said Schwind.

Per advice from the CDC and Arizona Fire and Medical Authority, all residents are advised to take precautions to safeguard their own health, including social distancing. The Rec Centers encourages residents to ensure they have a supply of prescription medicines, as well as food and other necessities to last them for two weeks. The Rec Centers will make decisions on cancellations and closures to safeguard our members, should we reach that point.

Residents are advised to watch suncitywest.com and sign up for the Rec Centers’ enews or follow us on Twitter at @rcscw to stay abreast of local conditions pertaining to the Rec Centers. Any event cancellations or facility closures will be announced there. Arizona Fire and Medical Authority is the local agency responsible for working with residents throughout the community. Follow AZFMA on Twitter at @azfireauthority.com or visit afma.az.gov

Memo to Employees from GM

Rec Centers Update on Disinfection and Health (COVID-19)

Bill Schwind
General Manager
March 3, 2020

Please join the Rec Centers and heed the advice of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention amd the Arizona Department of Health Services. Again, this is not a time for panic. It is a time for planning. As always, please wash your hands, cover your coughs and sneezes, and do not come to work or visit the facilities if you are sick.

At this time, we are taking steps to prevent the spread of viruses, including seasonal flu and coronavirus. This is an ongoing practice for the Rec Centers, not something new. We have ramped up our sanitizing sweeps and are providing alcohol-based hand gel. You will also see us begin an awareness campaign consisting of updates with posters and articles like this one.

The Rec Centers’ busiest month of the year is here. March brings a slew of activities, visitors, meetings, activity – and people congregating throughout our facilities. To be clear, as I write this, there are no COVID-19 cases in our area. But that could change at any time and like any responsible organization that serves the public, we are preparing for what might occur.

Toward that end, we are closely watching the spread of this virus and heeding advice from the CDC and local health care professionals, who on Feb. 25 recommended U.S. citizens, businesses and healthcare agencies prepare for a possible pandemic.

The Rec Centers has been prepping for a scenario like this since at least 2005 when bird flu was on the rise. We update our pandemic plan as needed and as scenarios change. Many components of the plan remain the same – especially the part where our employees and residents are advised to take personal precautions and practice healthy habits:

     1. Wash your hands with soap and water, or a hand gel containing at least 60-95 percent alcohol. (The Rec Centers have hand gel at our facilities where staff and public interact). 

     2. Cover your noses and mouths with a tissue, or an elbow if no tissue is available) when coughing or sneezing.

     3. Do not come to work or visit the facilities if you are sick, especially if you have a fever. In the case of COVID-19, if you have symptoms of acute respiratory illness, do not come in until you are fever free and other symptoms are gone for at least 24 hours. Notify your supervisor if you are staying home.

     4. Plan now for childcare needs in case schools become affected. We have plans to accommodate employees who need to stay home to care for themselves and sick family members.

     5. If you have traveled to an area affected by the coronavirus, notify your supervisor before returning to work.

     6. If you have traveled to an area affected by coronavirus and show any upper respiratory symptoms, contact your healthcare provider for guidance. Do not come to work, and do not visit the facilities.

     7. Older adults and those with pre-existing conditions and chronic medical conditions are at higher risk for COVID-19 complications. We know that affects a lot of our population, both employees and residents. We are taking that into consideration in our plans, and you should too.

If you have any questions or concerns about our plans, please do not hesitate to ask.

Rec Centers’ Disinfection Procedures

March 3, 2020

While the spread of the 2019 Novel Coronovirus is gaining a lot of headlines, the Rec Centers reminds residents that treating for communicable diseases has been part of our daily practices for more than 40 years.

The Rec Centers disinfects its facilities several times a day, with particular attention to door handles and other surfaces that residents come in contact with. We increase the frequency during flu season or other times of heightened concern. At this time, we are doing more frequent sweeps, even though there have been no reports of coronavirus in the area.

Our cleaning agent is hospital-grade and protects against pneumonia, flu, staff infection, HIV-1, MRSA, salmonella, etc.  The product is consistent with guidelines from the Centers for Disease Control about controlling the spread of viruses including the coronavirus.

Information about the coronavirus continues to evolve, and the Rec Centers stays abreast of the latest information from the CDC and the Arizona Department of Health Services, and will continue to do so. Should our practices require any adjustment, we can make those changes swiftly.

The biggest factor in controlling the spread of any illness is our residents. As always, we advise you to protect yourself and others from flu and other viruses by washing your hands with soap and water, or an alcohol-based hand sanitizer; covering your mouth (with your elbow, not your hand) when coughing; staying home when you are sick; avoid close contact with people who are sick; and avoid touching your eyes, nose and mouth with unwashed hands.

We appreciate your cooperation in keeping yourselves and your neighbors healthy!