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New pandemic protocols

Midcoast Recreation Center practices COVID-19 safety on, off ice

By Staff | Oct 15, 2020
Courtesy of: Midcoast Recreation Center New dots on ice surface at Midcoast Recreation Center rink.

Rockport — The ice is back at the Midcoast Recreation Center rink and programs have begun. Things at MRC will run a bit differently, however, due to COVID-19.

Jesse Simko, arena director, and Craig Wilson, executive director, said while MRC will continue to offer most of its regular hockey and figure skating classes, the sizes of programs have been reduced throughout the facility to help minimize risk to participants.

Classes and programs at MRC now must be preregistered and prepaid, and MRC officials suggest registering at least one day in advance to ensure a spot. Schedules for MRC’s programs can be found on the facility's website at midcoastrec.org, and programs can be registered for there.

Public skate has undergone the most changes of programs at MRC. Unlike past years, those looking to attend public skate are required to preregister, as there will only be 30 people allowed on the ice during each session. Passes will be $5 and must be paid at the time of registration. MRC will offer rental skates, and those can be paid for when the skater checks in at the front desk. Public skate will be an hour at a time, but often will be held multiple times a day when possible.

New protocols also have been put in place for hockey and figure skating program participants to help ensure everyone’s safety, officials said.

In order to allow children to be safely distanced while on the ice, MRC has painted dots in the ice along the boards of the arena to indicate six-foot distances and help keep youngsters spread out while in classes. Hash marks also have been spaced out to six feet in order to keep youngsters apart when playing in hockey games. Benches have been marked as well to show six-foot distance and expansions have been added to each bench to harbor more people if needed.

Everyone is asked to come dressed for their program, as there will be no locker rooms available. Ice skates can be put on in the ice rink in the designated area, but any other gear, including hockey gear, must be equipped before entering MRC.

Special routes have been laid out for entering and exiting the ice arena, which MRC asks everyone to respect as rink officials work to direct the flow of traffic in another effort to keep everyone as socially distanced as possible.

Spectators also are limited inside the building and ice rink. Children under the age of 11 are allowed to have one parent in the building with them, and those parents are encouraged to watch their children from the raised seating area or the walkway upstairs.

MRC officials ask parents of children ages 11 and older to wait outside during their children’s programs, and that no additional children be brought inside during siblings’ programs. Exceptions must be cleared with Simko.

Email Simko at jesse@midcoastrec.org or Wilson at craig@midcoastrec.org with concerns or issues with these policies.

For questions, or help to register for programs, call 207-236-9400.

Courier Publications' sports staff can be reached by email at sports@villagesoup.com or by phone at 594-4401.

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