The Recreation Centers of Sun City West’s COVID Task Force has determined the fitness centers and indoors pools will remain closed through at least Jan. 11.
The determination was based on information from health officials that the current case trajectory is expected to peak Jan. 8; at the same time hospitals have been filling up. Banner Health announced that on Dec. 28, 10 hospitals were diverting patients – meaning sending them to other hospitals due to capacity issues.
“This means that the hospitals are closed to incoming emergency transports and hospital transfers while they quickly work to address a backlog of patients,” Banner Health reported on its Twitter page. “Diversion only applies to incoming transfers. Walk-in patients will still be seen and cared for as quickly as possible; they will not be turned away. In addition, we have not yet activated the triage addendum to Arizona’s Crisis Standards of Care plan.
The Crisis Standards of Care plan determines the priority for care in hospitals if there is a shortage of beds, supplies and healthcare staff.
The fitness centers and indoor pools were closed Dec. 21 as Maricopa County reached “substantial” spread in cases, according to the Arizona Department of Health Services metrics. When the state first closed these facilities in June, the Association was required to sign an attestation agreeing to following certain cleaning and physical distancing protocols in order to reopen. That attestation included the understanding that the facilities would close again if the metrics fell back into the substantial range. The Governor and state health department have since back pedaled on some of those metrics, however the Association will continue to abide by the attestation it signed.
As a result, the four fitness centers, including the gyms and indoor pools, will remain closed until at least Jan. 11.
The chartered clubs were not covered in the attestation and therefore remain open. However, the Association strongly recommends clubs close on their own accord, and many have. “We are seeing at least one positive COVID case a day in our clubs,” said General Manager Bill Schwind. “We know our residents want to continue doing what they enjoy, but we strongly encourage them to avoid the club rooms. Stay at home, wear a mask and stay healthy.”
Other departments within the Association remain as is, but their status could change at any time. Residents should check suncitywest.com/COVID19 for the latest. As of now, the departments open/closed schedule is as follows:
Fitness Centers (including indoor swimming pools and spas, racquetball, table tennis, massage, personal training and group fitness): Closed through Jan. 11. The closure will be extended if needed. Outdoor facilities (tennis, pickleball, lawn bowls, walking tracks, etc.) will remain open; bring your own equipment.
Golf & Sports Pavilion: Open with existing precautions in place.
Clubs: Most open with the exception of social clubs and those that can’t physically distance. Some clubs have chosen to close on their own accord due to COVID cases (check suncitywest.com/COVID19 for the latest). Clubs are strongly encouraged to enact voluntary closures at this time; closures may be mandated in the future.
Member Services: By appointment only. Call 623-544-6100.
Administrative/Governing Board Offices: By appointment only. Call 623-544-6000.
Library: Curbside pickup for materials; Data Resource by appointment only. Call 623-544-6130 but expect wait times on the phone.
Village Store: Open beginning Jan. 11 with precautions in place.
For the latest COVID information from the Rec Centers, visit suncitywest.com/COVID19, and sign up for the weekly enews at suncitywest.com.