ABINGDON, Va. — Last March, in the earliest days of the COVID-10 pandemic, the Coomes Recreation Center in Abingdon shut down.
And it stayed closed for more than 200 days.
Open again since October, the center now operates under strict sanitizing and social distancing rules.
Last month, the swimming pool reopened, said Jennifer Johnson, the center’s director of recreation.
“The staff has done a tremendous job in reopening the facility and in providing a safe environment for citizens to come in,” said Town Manager Jimmy Morani.
Since reopening in October, the center has expanded senior day to Tuesday and Thursday, 7 a.m. to 7 p.m., for those who are 62 and older.
“And I would say that our senior population was one of the first to come back on a regular basis when we opened our door,” Johnson said.
Planning to reopen the center was not easy because all but two staff members had been laid off, said Melissa Wynne, the center’s director.
Town officials like Morani blamed the closing on both the challenge of keeping the facility sanitary while trying to find funding when tourism revenues came in less than expected during 2020.
“What does it take to keep it clean and safe?” Wynne asked. “We are cleaning any touchable surface like door handles and using a fog system. And we try to sanitize things as we travel throughout our day.”
Social distancing is required, Wynne said.
Attendance is down “from where we were last year,” Wynne said. “But each and every week, our numbers are climbing in our participants.”
The center has about 150 daily visitors, Johnson said.
“And we’re just so glad to have the community come through the doors.”
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- Melissa Wynne
- Jimmy Morani
- Jennifer Johnson
- Staff Member
- Coomes Recreation Center
- Coomes Center
- Washington County
- Corona Virua
- Covid 19
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