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Ashland ice rink will not open this winter

The Ashland Rotary Centennial Ice Rink will not open for the 2020-21 winter season because of health concerns associated with the pandemic, according to the Ashland Parks & Recreation Department.

The decision is based on Gov. Kate Brown’s risk assessment for COVID-19 spread in individual counties and statewide. Jackson County is currently in the “extreme risk” category, where it will remain for at least two weeks due to a recent spike in cases. From Nov. 15 to Nov. 28, the county saw 985 cases of the illness, a rate of 445.1 cases per 100,000 residents, according to the state’s COVID-19 website, https://coronavirus.oregon.gov/Pages/living-with-covid-19.aspx.

COVID-19 is considered widespread in counties with populations of 30,000 or more with rates of 200 per 100,000 residents or more during a two-week period. The county has been in the “extreme risk” category since mid-November.

“Based on the current metrics, we feel the most responsible decision is to not open the ice rink this season,” APRC Director Michael A. Black said in a news release. “While this is disappointing, we have to keep the health and safety of our staff and our community at the forefront.”

The Ashland Rotary Centennial Ice Rink will not open this winter due to the pandemic.Tidings file photo