The high level of spread of COVID-19 cases across Minnesota in recent weeks has state health officials concerned.
In a prime-time address on November 20, Governor Tim Walz announced new restrictions to help slow the spread, which includes a four-week pause on youth and adult sports and activities. After the announcement, sports organizations scrambled to schedule last minute games, practices and ice times before the shut down.
All activities at the Coon Rapids Ice Center (CRIC) will stop for the next four weeks including Blue Ox Hockey, high school and youth hockey, skating lessons and competitive figure skating. Skating coaches reserved last minute ice time Friday morning to give their top skaters an opportunity to complete end of year testing, which will determine a skater's skill level for performances and competitions in the year to come.
"These skaters got back on the ice June first and they've been working really hard on preparing these tests," said Karen Meck, the skating director at CRIC. "They had hoped to take them in December before the end of the year."
Moving up testing to Friday was abrupt, but allowed some skaters a chance to avoid the missed opportunity to move up a level.
"That certainly puts a lot of extra pressure on them," said Meck, "but I've seen everybody be very calm and relaxed and taking a deep breath and just taking it one element at a time."
Meck says there is disappointment, but overall, the skaters are remaining positive.
"They're all very disappointed that they have to take a pause again, but these kids are really resilient.... they've been absolutely great. I've been so impressed with all my skaters and their families."
In addition to CRIC, the Coon Rapids Civic Center is also closed, including the Senior Center. All in person gatherings, classes and events are canceled - except for senior foot care appointments.
The Bunker Hills Clubhouse and event center is also closed. Dozens of events there have had to cancel. The golf course itself is open for play, weather permitting. And Kendall's Tavern and Chophouse is still offering curbside takeout.