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Hopes are that the Chehalem Aquatic and Fitness Center can reopen to the public on Dec. 2.

PMG FILE PHOTO - The Chehalem Aquatic and Fitness Center will close Wednesday for two weeks following an order from Gov. Kate Brown last week.

The Chehalem Aquatic and Fitness Center has been closed following a state order to fight an upswing in the pandemic.

The move came about as part of Gov. Kate Brown's two-week freeze, announced last week, that closes gyms, indoor and outdoor recreational facilities, as well as limits restaurants and bars to take-out only. The moratorium began Nov. 18 and will continue through Dec. 2, at the least.

"The closure dates are finite," Chehalem Park and Recreation District spokeswoman Kat Ricker said in an email. "That is all the information that has been released." The CPRD owns and operates the aquatic center and related facilities in Newberg.

The closure will affect the more than 4,000 people who regularly visit the aquatic center over a two-week period, Ricker said, as well as the swim and water polo teams and clubs that frequent the pool. That includes the more than 250 athletes on those teams.PMG FILE PHOTO - Classes at the fitness center will be stopped as part of a two-week 'freeze' ordered by the state last week.

This is the second time this year that the facility has been closed due to COVID-19 precautions. Both the pool and the fitness center closed March 17, with the fitness center reopening on May 18; the pool didn't reopen until June 22.

That reopening only came about after the CPRD put numerous safeguards in place.

"We opened the lobby with one-way, directed traffic patterns; a shield was installed at the reception counter; special, staggered, limited pool schedules were put into place and usage was on a reservation basis," Ricker said. "Locker rooms and drinking fountains were closed. Sanitizer stations were created, with hand sanitizer and spray bottles for equipment. Signage with messages on the new protocols was posted throughout the facility and the messages posted online. Face coverings became mandatory on July 1 for everyone except those in the water."

Ricker refrained from questioning the state order to close Newberg's facilities.

"Our top priority is public health and safety and we respect the orders of the governor's office and our continued communication with Yamhill County Health Department," she said. "We are pleased that we are able to offer a state-of-the-art filtration system in the pools and we will continue to maintain our facility during the closure so that we can welcome our patrons back once more when we are permitted to do so."

For more information on the aquatic and fitness center closures, phone 503-537-2909 from 7 a.m. to 4 p.m. Monday through Friday.


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