Re-opening rinks with social distancing

overedge

G.O.A.T.
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29,819
It looks like our club is keeping the adult/teen session for now (whew). However, on all of the sessions, skaters are now supposed to stay 3 meters apart. I am not sure if this is a provincial or municipal requirement, but I think it's going to be really hard to enforce.

There's also a notice that parents are not allowed to video their skaters, with some pretty strong language about parents or skaters being suspended if this rule isn't followed. Spectators have already been banned from all sessions (partly because the parents would not stay away from the boards :rolleyes:) I'm not sure, but it sounds like parents have been using "But I have to video my kid" as an excuse for being in the rink.
 

MacMadame

Staying at home
Messages
40,638
The idea is that adults socialized more while younger people did their activity and left. Ya know, because younger people are more mature. Goodness, us adults are so embarrassing.
While I laughed at this post, I have to say that my experience with youth sports vs. adult sports is that with youth sports, the parents bring their kids very close to when they start and take them home once things are over. My experience with adult sports is that often we'll all meet up afterward for coffee or even a meal and that people deliberately come early to socialize and often stay after to socialize.

I think that's because adults are more in control of their own time than kids are.
 

GarrAargHrumph

I can kill you with my brain
Messages
19,195
The Washington Post reports that scientists are trying to figure out why ice hockey is being so heavily hit by *********, compared to other youth sports. They think it may be certain behaviors, yes, but also the physical environment of the rinks.

Some of the issues that may be causing ********* issues in hockey could also translate to figure skating. They mention the low temps and low humidity causing suspension of the *****, with the ***** hanging in the air for longer, plus intentionally poor ventilation (to retain the ice), all potentially coming into play in terms of infection rates.
 

sk8pics

Well-Known Member
Messages
8,108
The Washington Post reports that scientists are trying to figure out why ice hockey is being so heavily hit by *********, compared to other youth sports. They think it may be certain behaviors, yes, but also the physical environment of the rinks.

Some of the issues that may be causing ********* issues in hockey could also translate to figure skating. They mention the low temps and low humidity causing suspension of the *****, with the ***** hanging in the air for longer, plus intentionally poor ventilation (to retain the ice), all potentially coming into play in terms of infection rates.
Yes, this is exactly what I read 4 or 5 years ago (or maybe longer), that droplets of mucous are suspended in the air longer in the air in the rink. I think it is a no-brainer that the ***** should spread more easily in a rink, given the way all the skaters at the rink passed colds and flus around every winter.
 

spinZZ

Well-Known Member
Messages
216
The Washington Post reports that scientists are trying to figure out why ice hockey is being so heavily hit by *********, compared to other youth sports. They think it may be certain behaviors, yes, but also the physical environment of the rinks.

Some of the issues that may be causing ********* issues in hockey could also translate to figure skating. They mention the low temps and low humidity causing suspension of the *****, with the ***** hanging in the air for longer, plus intentionally poor ventilation (to retain the ice), all potentially coming into play in terms of infection rates.
Yes, along with all the negative environmental factors in a rink, I'd also like to repeat some caveats I previously posted about our favorite sport. The nominal 6 ft social distancing guideline applies for people who are stationary or moving slowly, and who are breathing normally. Skaters, of course, are typically moving swiftly and breathing hard. So, if an infected, unmasked skater coughs or sneezes, he can shoot out a large cloud of muck. Under rink conditions, this large cloud of muck can linger well after the infected skater has cleared out. Then along comes an innocent skater who perceives that the coast is clear, but instead skates right into the cloud and deeply sucks in a load of muck.

It will be interesting whether researchers do detailed studies of muck transmission under real skating conditions.
 

bladesofgorey

Well-Known Member
Messages
407
Yep. Which is why I always wear a mask when skating to protect others) and have been pretty appalled they have not been required at the rinks I skate at. It's such a simple thing- the world class athletes at Skating Club of Boston train with them on so no reason the rest of us can't. This summer a teenage figure skater came up to me at the boards and said "You know you don't have to wear a mask when you are on the ice" and I said (with a slight cough because talking still irritates my throat) "I know but I had it in April" and I never saw someone glide from a standstill 12 feet backward so fast. I think there's just a false sense of security.
 
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gkelly

Well-Known Member
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15,620
My rink requires masks while skating. Skaters are allowed to lift them to drink water while on the ice (or blow one's nose -- not officially stated but that has to be allowed), but otherwise must leave them in place the whole time.

The few times I went back, my solution was to wear shorts and/or a jacket with pockets and to keep an extra mask in one pocket in case I needed to switch them out mid session.
 

Yazmeen

Shake it then, shake it now, shake it forever
Messages
5,578
The Governor of Pennsylvania has issued new ********* restrictions beginning Saturday the 12th and extending until January 4th.

"All K-12 indoor and outdoor sports and extracurricular activities must be halted, he said, and indoor gyms and fitness classes must temporarily shut down. All in-person businesses in the entertainment industry, including theaters, concert venues, museums, movie theaters, and casinos, must also close."

Included are no indoor gatherings of more than 10 people. Already heard that my rink will be closed, and I don't think the others in the state are going to be able to squirm their way out of following the rules that they did earlier this year. Yes, it's crappy, but thank you to the "maskholes" and the "I'll do me" crowd for getting us to where we are today (and the elected "leadership" that led the way to this debacle).
 

just tuned in

Well-Known Member
Messages
2,144
The Governor of Pennsylvania has issued new ********* restrictions beginning Saturday the 12th and extending until January 4th.

"All K-12 indoor and outdoor sports and extracurricular activities must be halted, he said, and indoor gyms and fitness classes must temporarily shut down. All in-person businesses in the entertainment industry, including theaters, concert venues, museums, movie theaters, and casinos, must also close."

Included are no indoor gatherings of more than 10 people. Already heard that my rink will be closed, and I don't think the others in the state are going to be able to squirm their way out of following the rules that they did earlier this year. Yes, it's crappy, but thank you to the "maskholes" and the "I'll do me" crowd for getting us to where we are today (and the elected "leadership" that led the way to this debacle).
I read the Gov's announcement soooo closely looking for a loophole. But no sports and no entertainment facilities --

-- and in the FAQs, it specifies that dance studios and gymnastics are also suspended, so it would have to be impossible to keep PA suburban rinks open...


How do the Limited-Time Targeted Mitigation Orders apply to dance studios, gymnastic facilities, cheerleading gyms?
All organized athletic contests, competitions, scrimmages, and practices regardless of what they are called are suspended including dance studios, gymnastic facilities, cheerleading gyms, etc. In addition, extracurricular activities, which includes activities such as non-competitive dance and cheerleading have been suspended by the order.
 

concorde

Well-Known Member
Messages
585
In PA, outdoor rinks can remain open but with some limitations. At least that is what I remember from reading over the order last Friday.
 

bladesofgorey

Well-Known Member
Messages
407
For people in NJ, Mennen is running back to back hour long freestyles all day in order to keep the lights on. They feel given other area rinks shutting down they may be able to have enough figure skating activity to not go too much further in debt. Time slots must be signed up for two days in advance (last I heard) and the sessions are each limited to 10 people only, and that number includes coaches.
 

manhn

Well-Known Member
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13,448
Do skaters normally take the flu shot every year? Wondering why not if flu is so commonly passed on amongst them.
 

Lemonade20

Former Kurtholic
Messages
1,296
Do skaters normally take the flu shot every year? Wondering why not if flu is so commonly passed on amongst them.
Not everyone needs a flu shot, and it's something that can be recovered from without a hospital stay 99% of the time.
 

bladesofgorey

Well-Known Member
Messages
407
This is getting off-topic, but just like the other plague, people who are young and healthy don't generally die of the flu but they do pass it on to people who will. Depending on the strain and severity there have been flu shot shortages in the past, and usually at least in my area it's always been that healthcare workers, teachers, older folks, and other susceptible groups are the ones most urged to get the shot every year. Most skaters are not in that target group. This year was different because of our already over-strained hospitals, and there were big campaigns geared toward getting everyone to get a shot since outcomes for anything aren't very good if there are not enough hospital beds to go around.
(My sister's best friend died of influenza complications- and he was an extremely fit and otherwise healthy young man in his early thirties. It does happen.)
 

Lemonade20

Former Kurtholic
Messages
1,296
This is getting off-topic, but just like the other plague, people who are young and healthy don't generally die of the flu but they do pass it on to people who will. Depending on the strain and severity there have been flu shot shortages in the past, and usually at least in my area it's always been that healthcare workers, teachers, older folks, and other susceptible groups are the ones most urged to get the shot every year. Most skaters are not in that target group. This year was different because of our already over-strained hospitals, and there were big campaigns geared toward getting everyone to get a shot since outcomes for anything aren't very good if there are not enough hospital beds to go around.
(My sister's best friend died of influenza complications- and he was an extremely fit and otherwise healthy young man in his early thirties. It does happen.)
So sorry to hear about your sister’s BF! That’s so sad!
 

concorde

Well-Known Member
Messages
585
Just got a Facebook update from a colleague who son is a hockey player. Lots of photos and none wearing masks. Ugh. When you see those photos, you understand why rinks are shut.

Our rinks (Pennsylvania) are to re-open 1/4. Really hoping they will.
 

sk8nlizard

Well-Known Member
Messages
721
Just got a Facebook update from a colleague who son is a hockey player. Lots of photos and none wearing masks. Ugh. When you see those photos, you understand why rinks are shut.

Our rinks (Pennsylvania) are to re-open 1/4. Really hoping they will.
Are rinks in DE open? I was wondering about skaters that made nationals, such as Gracie though I’m sure there are others and where they are going for ice time.
 

just tuned in

Well-Known Member
Messages
2,144
Just got a Facebook update from a colleague who son is a hockey player. Lots of photos and none wearing masks. Ugh. When you see those photos, you understand why rinks are shut.

Our rinks (Pennsylvania) are to re-open 1/4. Really hoping they will.
I was surprised to learn that the Phila BlueCross / River Rink is open. A local news station had it for background during the weather report. It was full -- even capped at 50 people (if it was), there is no distancing there.
 

concorde

Well-Known Member
Messages
585
I should clarify my earlier comment about Pennsylvania.

The governor closed all indoor exercise facilities until 1/4. That order covers most gym and all indoor ice rinks. Outdoor rink can remain open - not sure at what capacity.
 

GarrAargHrumph

I can kill you with my brain
Messages
19,195
The governor of NJ will be allowing youth sports to happen indoors again, with certain limits. That means that as of Jan (I think it's Jan 4), Learn to Skate classes can happen.
 

spinZZ

Well-Known Member
Messages
216
The governor of NJ will be allowing youth sports to happen indoors again, with certain limits. That means that as of Jan (I think it's Jan 4), Learn to Skate classes can happen.
Given the bad scenario that NJ is in (though not as extreme as, e.g., CA), I was surprised to hear that. It's too early for the consequences of Christmas celebrations to show up in the metrics; and, of course, the consequences of New Year's celebrations are yet to come. I watched the replay of Gov. Murphy's press conference of 12/30/2020 (https://www.facebook.com/pix11news/videos/436915600798321/) to find out his rationale. Essentially, he said that, although some of the metrics are not good, at least they are stable. More importantly, he said that his team didn't think that they would change much over the next couple of weeks; hence, there was no point in waiting to make a decision on restarting indoor youth sports. His charts indicate the daily positivity test rate has been >10% since early Nov, but the transmission rate has been hovering around 1 and not taking off. I think they're banking a lot on the transmission rate (and the fact that hospitals are not overwhelmed, as in other states).

Dr. Fauci keeps warning to expect, on a national scale, a post-(Christmas + New Year) surge on top of the post-Thanksgiving surge. Although I hope that Gov. Murphy and his team are correct, off-hand I don't see why NJ would miraculously dodge a post-(Christmas + New Year) surge, especially if the UK variant (so far reported to be more transmissible) spreads here.
 
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Yazmeen

Shake it then, shake it now, shake it forever
Messages
5,578
The rink I normally skate out sent out a very detailed pdf on policies for skating beginning next week (restrictions on "fitness centers" will be lifted as of Monday in PA). I appreciate their attention to detail, but not for me yet. Maybe March/April depending on how vaccinations go.
 

spinZZ

Well-Known Member
Messages
216
The rink I normally skate out sent out a very detailed pdf on policies for skating beginning next week (restrictions on "fitness centers" will be lifted as of Monday in PA). I appreciate their attention to detail, but not for me yet. Maybe March/April depending on how vaccinations go.
One caveat here. Although providing a detailed written set of protocols is certainly a good step, the degree to which the rink enforces the protocols is crucial. Rinks face the same challenges as other businesses such as restaurants: to succeed under this C*V*D environment requires extra resources, both money for protective equipment of various flavors and staff to implement the health protocols. At the same time, they have a reduced, iffy income stream and are faced with the constant threat of sudden shutdowns. Some factors are under their own control (e.g., not letting hockey jocks run amok), but many are not (e.g., illicit religious ceremonies, frat parties, and raves cause the local community positivity rate to exceed a specified threshold for a specified number of consecutive days, triggering a declaration of the local community as a hot zone, with restrictions on a broad class of businesses and activities).

Three rinks in my area that I'm familiar with have been operating with greatly reduced staff. In a couple of instances, e.g., the janitor or the Zamboni driver also handled check-in and temperature screening. Or there's one poor girl doing all this, plus answering the phones (extra busy because there are so many changes on the fly and the websites are not updated), and juggling schedules (constantly changing). So there's really not enough staff to police many of the protocols (such as skaters wearing masks once they pass check-in, following one-way traffic flow, not congregating. ...). I do empathize with their plight, so I don't carp: I've simply stopped skating for now. Also eagerly awaiting vaccine shots.
 

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