UPDATE: Woodstock Recreation Center, Sage YCMA temporarily close after staff members test positive COVID-19

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The Woodstock Recreation Center temporarily closed its doors Friday until Nov. 13 after three staff members tested positive for COVID-19, the city of Woodstock said in a news release.

“To err on the side of caution, we are implementing a facility closure to ensure the health and safety of all of our members, visitors, residents and staff,” according to the release. “This will also allow time for a thorough cleaning and sanitizing of the building to prepare for reopening.”

The rec center is scheduled to reopen Nov. 14.

Dave Zinnen, director of the city’s recreation department, said one additional employe was identified as having close contact with the three employees who tested positive, and that person’s COVID-19 test came back negative. 

“We recommended the rest of the staff to go ahead and get tested because we do work in a very confined area,” Zinnen said.

City Manager Roscoe Stelford said the city does not think any members of the club or residents met criteria to be considered a close contact.

The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention defines close contact as being within 6 feet of an infected person for a cumulative total of 15 minutes or more over a 24-hour period starting from two days before illness onset – or, for asymptomatic patients, two days before being tested – until the time the patient is isolated.

Going forward, Zinnen said the recreation department likely will put more plexiglass between employees. A piece of plexiglass already is set up between the front counter staff and employees, he said.

A “tremendous amount” of safeguards have been put into place for the public because of COVID-19, Stelford said.

This includes changing the check-in process, in which members hold their card directly up to a scanner, so there’s no physical interaction between employees and members, as well as a lot of cleaning and sanitizing as people are done using the equipment. 

Because some classes are not being conducted now, they are able to put workout equipment in more places, Stelford said. 

Two area restaurants – Miller’s Diner in McHenry and Andy’s Restaurant in Crystal Lake – also have announced temporary closures in recent days after employees tested positive for COVID-19.

Both restaurants had continued to offer indoor dining despite increased restrictions ordered by Gov. JB Pritzker. The intensified restrictions that have hit restaurants and bars have not affected fitness centers such as the Woodstock Recreation Center to the same degree.

Also Friday, the Sage YMCA in Crystal Lake said in an email to patrons that a staff member was exposed to a person who tested positive for COVID-19. 

The Crystal Lake fitness center will not be closing, but “out of an abundance of caution,” the employee was immediately sent home and told to get a
COVID-19 test and self-isolate for 14 days, per CDC recommendations, interim Executive Director Lesley Franklin said in the email.

The employee has been asked not to come back to work until test results confirm he or she has not contracted the virus, Franklin said. An initial assessment indicates that the staff member worked throughout the Y this week and part of last week and may have interacted with a number of people. 

“We have already reached out to these people and have advised them to take precautions, including getting a test,” Franklin said.

However, she said, the risk to other patrons is thought to be low. 

“We believe that the risk of exposure is lessened by the numerous safety precautions that we always undertake at the Y,” Franklin said. “However, we must acknowledge that as with many things, an element of risk is always present.” 

Health clubs, along with barber shops, salons and spas, were allowed to reopen with capacity limits in late June under Phase 4 of the state’s Restore Illinois plan. Under the previous phase, health and fitness clubs were limited to outdoor classes and one-on-one personal training.

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