Eau Claire reopens Hobbs Ice Arena, with COVID-19 safety protocols

(City of Eau Claire photo)

EAU CLAIRE, Wis. (WKBT) — The Hobbs Ice Arena in Eau Claire is gearing up to reopen with new safety procedures to keep pucks dropping as the COVID-19 pandemic continues.
Among the most important safety protocols are the requirements for physical distancing and masks in all areas of the facility, as well as designated areas for use, according to a news release from the Eau Claire Parks, Recreation and Forestry Department.
In a separate area from the operational rinks, Hobbs will share space with Catholic Charities to provide temporary shelter for people who are experiencing homelessness.
This arrangement will be in place through the first week in October, when the ice rink will operate as a separate facility.
Hobbs staffers have worked with community groups to establish procedures for operating the arena.
Hobbs will offer ice use, dry land training space for hockey, adult fitness opportunities and instructional classes.
The Hughes rink will be the priority rink for dry land hockey training. The city also is offering pickle ball in the Hughes rink in the mornings or when no other scheduled use is requested.
Hughes rink ice will be installed when ice requests have reached capacity in the O’Brien and Akervik rinks.
Although these spaces are open for use, the Parks, Recreation and Forestry Department stressed that the COVID-19 risk remains in the community and that individuals should follow posted health and safety guidelines when using the facilities.
Hobbs doors will remain locked, and an attendant will allow access for scheduled groups and individuals.
Adult coaches and group leaders are required to meet their participants at the main entrance and then will be allowed to enter 15 minutes before their scheduled times. Coaches and leaders also will verify health screenings, and individuals will complete a health screening form upon entry.
Upon departure, adults will remain with all youths until they are reunited with their parents or guardians, according to the news release.