Feb. 18 Update: When originally published, the Rec Centers had set Monday, Feb. 22, as a tentative reopening date. Today (Feb. 18), the Rec Centers can now confirm that the Feb. 22 reopening date is now official. The word “tentatively” will now be removed from this page in order to reflect the change.
With Maricopa County’s announcement this week that 44 percent of county residents 75 and older have received at least one COVID-19 vaccine dose, coupled with a decline in the case trajectory, the Recreation Centers of Sun City West announces plans to reopen its fitness centers and indoor pools on Feb. 22.
Maricopa County is still seeing substantial transmission in COVID cases, and there are concerns that the case trajectory could begin climbing again if the COVID variants that are more contagious begin spreading. However, the Arizona Department of Health Services’ business metrics shows a consistent decline in all three measurements. There is also a two-week lag in those numbers.
“Due to the lag in reporting, we believe by Feb. 22 at least one of the metrics will drop below the substantial threshold, putting us back into the moderate transmission category. That category allows the Rec Centers to operate its indoor gyms and pools at 25 percent capacity,” said General Manager Bill Schwind.
For example, ADHS’s website shows one such metric – hospital visits for COVID-like illness in Maricopa County – at 11.9 percent, but that number is for Jan. 24. The Jan. 31 number shows the state at 9.8 percent (county-level data for Jan. 31 is not yet available).
“We believe this decline will continue, and in anticipation of the new numbers meeting the threshold for 25 percent occupancy, we will be ready to open by Feb. 22,” Schwind said.
Per the Governor’s Executive Orders 2020-43 and 2020-52, special events of more than 50 people will continue to be prohibited unless the organizers receive a special event license from Maricopa County.
Masks must continue to be worn in all indoor areas. Guests also will not be allowed at this time, except for golf and bowling, both of which have public play policies. In bowling, guests must have their own equipment and follow all social distancing rules. No spectators are allowed.
Other departments within the Association are open as follows:
Indoor facilities: Gyms, indoor pools, spas, Palm Ridge’s indoor walking track, group fitness, and shower/locker rooms will be open 6 a.m. to 9 p.m., seven days a week. Spa services and personal training also will be offered. The gyms will be closed from noon to 1 p.m. each day for deep cleanings. Capacity in all these facilities will be limited to 25 percent. For the spas, capacity is limited to six at Beardsley, Kuentz and R.H. Johnson. Palm Ridge spas are limited to three. Racquetball and table tennis at R.H. Johnson will be open from 9 a.m. to 9 p.m. seven days a week.
Outdoor facilities: Tennis, pickleball, lawn bowls, walking tracks, bocce, mini-golf, etc. will remain open. Equipment is available for rent at the Activities Center and is cleaned between users.
Library: Curbside pickup for materials; Data Resource by appointment only. Call 623-544-6130.
Golf: Open with existing precautions in place. Shotguns and crossovers will remain on hold as these events can bring more than 100 people together at one time.
Sports Pavilion: Open with existing precautions in place.
Clubs: Chartered clubs were not affected by Executive Orders, however the Rec Centers has opted to close the social, card and dance clubs as those cannot physically distance. The rest can open if they choose, however several have closed on their own accord. A list of which clubs are closed and which are open with restrictions can be found at suncitywest.com/covid19.
Member Services: By appointment only, between 8 a.m. and 2:30 p.m. Call 623-544-6100.
Administrative/Governing Board Offices: By appointment only. Call 623-544-6000.
Village Store: Open 9 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. with precautions in place.