Any COVID Spread Traceable to Ice Rinks?

tstop4me

Final Flight
Joined
Oct 2, 2015
Messages
738
Hi. I'd appreciate feedback from members whose rinks have re-opened for at least a month. Have any of you had any reports of a COVID spread traceable to activities at your rink (hockey, freestyle, public, LTS ....)? I'm in NJ. Rinks re-opened early July, but very cautiously and on a very limited basis (NY/NJ were the hardest hit region in Mar - May). Primarily freestyle, hockey practice (no games), and private rentals. I normally skate weekday morn public sessions (typically not crowded). So far I haven't gone to freestyle; not so much because of the high cost, but because of the extra caution needed around high-level skaters doing jumping passes and program runs. But one rink near me has just started adult-only public sessions. Rates are really reasonable under current circumstances ($10 for a 1.5 hr session); limit of 20 skaters. I'm tempted to go. But first I thought I'd check on any problems that may have cropped up in other parts of the country that re-opened earlier and more aggressively. Thanks. [A Google search pointed only to problems associated with youth hockey games.]
 

sandraskates

Final Flight
Joined
Oct 31, 2006
Messages
546
Country
United-States
In the two rinks I skate at in central Florida I've heard no reports of anyone getting covid. There are mask rules and skater limits at both rinks.
I got sick a few weeks ago and had 3 of the typical covid signs. Got tested and nope, wasn't covid.
 

jcskates

Rinkside
Joined
Feb 17, 2020
Messages
34
Country
Canada
I skate in Toronto. Our primary rink has not opened so my friends and I skate on private ice. Limits on number of skaters and social distancing is enforced. No issues and cases on the rinks we skate at but yesterday we had a cleanliness issue with the group before our session. Hockey players spit on the mats and possibly on the ice. It was very disappointing and infuriating but from what I know the rink managers were furious as well because they are clean freaks too. Good thing I always bring cleaning essentials such as wipes, disinfectants, sanitizer. We all sprayed our guards with disinfectants after our session. Be vigilant of your surroundings and be cautious.
 

theblade

Rinkside
Joined
Feb 15, 2018
Messages
46
A couple of cases at one rink that we do not attend. Apparently hockey-related. Southern California.
 

SmallAminal

On the Ice
Joined
Jul 26, 2016
Messages
438
Take this with a grain of salt because I got the information 3rd hand, but I did hear that there was one case in the rink in Oakville, ON (Canada). I can't personally verify that information though.
 

Nimyue

On the Ice
Joined
May 15, 2018
Messages
381
We had a few cases on hockey teams. Team in once city spread it to another team at a game. However, it didn't spread outside of those teams to others at the rink. There is no one else allowed in the building except those actually on the ice, so I imagine this helps the spread from one group to another.
 

Edwin

Record Breaker
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Jan 5, 2019
Messages
5,810
the virus can be remotely and with a delay be detected in sewage
 

Ic3Rabbit

Le professionnel d'élite
Record Breaker
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Jan 9, 2017
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6,157
Country
Canada
the virus can be remotely and with a delay be detected in sewage
What does this have to do with anything? OP was asking about spread amongst skaters, hockey players on/in a rink.
 

Edwin

Record Breaker
Joined
Jan 5, 2019
Messages
5,810
it allows the public authorities to measure on a larger scale the spread of virus infections over large areas over longer amounts of time.

sorry for the confusion

only proper use of face masks, hygiene and social distancing can prevent rapid spreading from these clusters
 

double_sal_gal

Spectator
Joined
Sep 28, 2020
Messages
2
I have two rinks within easy driving distance. They're in different counties but the same metro area (Denver, CO). Rink 1 was slowest to reopen and implemented the strictest restrictions. Rink 2 opened earlier and was much more lax about mask-wearing on ice, spectators in the building, lobby use, etc. Prior to COVID, I mostly did midday public sessions at Rink 1 and occasionally ventured to Rink 2 (which is about twice as far from my house) for the adults-only sessions. Since reopening, Rink 2 has operated all sessions on a drop-in basis and offers skate rental. Rink 1 is requiring advance registration for freestyles and public sessions (and you can't use your annual pass for public sessions because something something contact tracing) and does not offer skate rental.

We still have a statewide mask mandate that gets extended each month, and the individual counties also have their own (often stricter) mask mandates. Rink 1 has not done much to enforce mask-wearing. I find that the majority tends to set the trend: If most skaters aren't masked, even people who usually mask up don't do so. It was especially bad last week during fall break for the local schools, but most of the non-mask-wearing skaters I saw during that time were adults I know who usually wear masks.

Rink 2 recently cracked down on mask usage (everyone must wear a mask while skating as much as possible, so only take them off to blow your nose, drink water or quickly catch your breath) and shut down its lobby (so skaters have to put on/take off skates in the freezing rink area -- at least it's indoors!) due to rising cases in the county. Rink 1 just started allowing spectators in again and reopened its bar. :cautious: Again, these rinks are a 30-minute drive from each other. Lots of skaters frequent both, and that's just on the figure skating side; I'm sure hockey has similar trends (plus there's a hockey-only rink between Rink 1 and Rink 2, so more possible disease vectors).

I'm not really sure what to do about Rink 1. I don't want to be Mask B*tch, but I have asked at the front desk a few times if they'll be enforcing mask rules and mentioned that Rink 2 had to lock down again. They always nod and smile and don't do anything. I love Rink 1 and it has by far the best ice in the region, but it stresses me out when even the coaches don't wear masks.

My state does have an outbreak list that it updates regularly. I have not seen a rink-based (or even recreation center-based) outbreak in my state yet. That said, outbreak data probably relies to some degree on self-reporting, so that list isn't a guarantee. I do think outbreaks are more likely among hockey teams given what we've seen in other states so far, but they cross paths with figure skaters, so who knows?

tl;dr I have not seen any figure-skating-based outbreaks in the US, and I've been looking. That doesn't mean there aren't any, but if there are, they haven't made the news yet. The adults-only sessions I've managed to attend are always far and away better than the public-session free-for-alls, so I strongly recommend you give them a try. Best wishes and happy skating!
 

tstop4me

Final Flight
Joined
Oct 2, 2015
Messages
738
I have two rinks within easy driving distance. ....

tl;dr I have not seen any figure-skating-based outbreaks in the US, and I've been looking. That doesn't mean there aren't any, but if there are, they haven't made the news yet. The adults-only sessions I've managed to attend are always far and away better than the public-session free-for-alls, so I strongly recommend you give them a try. Best wishes and happy skating!
Thank you very much. I appreciate the detailed personal narrative. I have gone to four adult public sessions now. Protocols are not very strict at the rink I'm going to, but so far viable because there are so few of us (4 to 8). The max limit has actually been raised from 20 to 30 skaters. But, unless they develop and enforce stricter protocols, I think I will drop out if there are more than 10 or so skaters. May be a moot point, though. Hockey has been bumping many of the adult public sessions. I expect this to get worse, since competitive hockey was allowed to resume in my state last week (at the same time the general COVID rate is on the rise in my state). Thanks again for reporting in.
 
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double_sal_gal

Spectator
Joined
Sep 28, 2020
Messages
2
Thank you very much. I appreciate the detailed personal narrative. I have gone to four adult public sessions now. Protocols are not very strict at the rink I'm going to, but so far viable because there are so few of us (4 to 8). The max limit has actually been raised from 20 to 30 skaters. But, unless they develop and enforce stricter protocols, I think I will drop out if there are more than 10 or so skaters. May be a moot point, though. Hockey has been bumping many of the adult public sessions. I expect this to get worse, since competitive hockey was allowed to resume in my state last week (at the same time the general COVID rate is on the rise in my state). Thanks again for reporting in.
I hope they keep offering those adult sessions for you! 10 skaters is about my upper limit as well, and Rink 2's adult sessions rarely come near that. The nice thing about Rink 1 requiring registration for both public and freestyle is that you can see how many others are signed up and wait to pull the trigger until just before the signup deadline. However, they don't always show the numbers for some reason. Once or twice I've paid for a session, gotten to the rink, seen how many maskless skaters were on the ice, and gone home. Even aside from the risk, it stresses me out to the point where I can't enjoy skating or get anything done because I'm worried about the virus. I skate to turn off my brain, not be reminded how terrible everything is right now!
 

tstop4me

Final Flight
Joined
Oct 2, 2015
Messages
738
I hope they keep offering those adult sessions for you! 10 skaters is about my upper limit as well, and Rink 2's adult sessions rarely come near that. The nice thing about Rink 1 requiring registration for both public and freestyle is that you can see how many others are signed up and wait to pull the trigger until just before the signup deadline. However, they don't always show the numbers for some reason. Once or twice I've paid for a session, gotten to the rink, seen how many maskless skaters were on the ice, and gone home. Even aside from the risk, it stresses me out to the point where I can't enjoy skating or get anything done because I'm worried about the virus. I skate to turn off my brain, not be reminded how terrible everything is right now!
Wow, a kindred spirit. :) The problem with my current rink is that, although online registration and pre-payment are required, there is no cutoff deadline. Effectively, walk-ins are allowed. As long as the max limit has not been reached, a skater can show up, register and pay via smartphone, and enter.

The registration page for a particular session stays up for a week or so after the session. So afterwards, I can check the official tally. I've also noticed that the official tally has been a couple less than actual. One skater I know coaches there (she was just practicing, not coaching). I'm assuming she still gets freebie privileges, so she doesn't show up on the paid tally. The other probably is either a coach or rink employee; or snuck in unpaid.

I know how you feel. Skating is what I normally do to entirely relax and off-load stress. Hard to do with the lax protocols at the rink, and the uptick in my state.
 
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