Skip to main content
You are the owner of this article.
You have permission to edit this article.
Edit
Coomes Recreation Center in Abingdon faces new challenges during COVID-19 pandemic
top story
Coomes Recreation Center
Reopening safely

Coomes Recreation Center in Abingdon faces new challenges during COVID-19 pandemic

{{featured_button_text}}
Abingdon Coomes Center 01

The Coomes Center in Abingdon has been open for about three months after being closed for 200 days in 2020.

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.

Abingdon Coomes Center 02

Austin Powers cleans the railing at the walking track above the gym at the Abingdon Coomes Center. The center has been open for three months after being closed for 200 days in 2020.

“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.

Support Local Journalism

Your subscription makes our reporting possible.
{{featured_button_text}}
Abingdon Coomes Center 03

The Coomes Center in Abingdon has been open for about three months after being closed for 200 days in 2020.

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.

Abingdon Coomes Center 04

The Coomes Center in Abingdon has been open for about three months after being closed for 200 days in 2020. The center’s swimming pool reopened just last month.

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.”

jtennis@bristolnews.com | 276-791-0709 | @BHC_Tennis

Concerned about COVID-19?

* I understand and agree that registration on or use of this site constitutes agreement to its user agreement and privacy policy.

Related to this story

Most Popular

A more contagious — and possibly more dangerous — strain of the virus that causes COVID-19 has been identified in several Southwest Virginia residents, and none has traveled recently, according to the Virginia Department of Health.

Recommended for you

Welcome to the Conversation

No name-calling, personal insults or threats. No attacks based on race, gender, ethnicity, etc. No writing with your caps lock on – it's screaming. Keep on topic and under 1,500 characters. No profanity or vulgarity. Stay G- or PG-rated.

Get up-to-the-minute news sent straight to your device.

Topics

Breaking News

News Alerts