Story Update: DeKalb County Health Director Sandra Ford has recommended against the city hosting an ice skating event for December 2020 due to the state’s increasing number of COVID-19 cases, City Parks Director Brandon Riley said on Nov. 30, 2020.
STONECREST— Brandon Riley, the city’s Parks and Recreation Director, said he would likely nix the idea of bringing an ice skating rink to the city for a two-day event in December.
Riley said his department was looking at bringing Artificial Ice Events and its giant Snowman on Dec. 11-12 to the parking lot of the future Stonecrest City Hall, (the former Sam’s Club at 2994 Turner Hill Road). After receiving a lukewarm reaction from the City Council at its meeting last night, however, Riley said he would probably look at the idea for next year.
“They had a lot of concerns and they just didn’t seem comfortable with the idea. We wanted to do something fun, but we don’t want to be a super spreader of COVID-19,” said Riley.
The City Council was not slated to vote on the proposal–only to hear a presentation from Riley. After the presentation, council members asked questions regarding costs, liability and protection for the public’s health, ending their comments by saying they would like to hear what DeKalb County health officials’ thoughts were before moving forward.
Riley said he had not yet heard back from Dr. Sandra Ford, DeKalb County’s health director, but timing is critical if the event is to be held in December. The City Council, Riley said, would have to give approval quickly in order to book the event.
During last night’s presentation, Riley said the rink would operate 8 hours both days and only permit 20 people at one time to skate for one hour to follow social distancing protocols. Under that scenario, only 320 guests could attend. Riley said that tickets would be sold on EventBrite.com to restrict attendance.
Face masks would be required and the rink and equipment would be sanitized after each use, Riley said.
“Dec. 11 is right around the corner and we don’t have a lot of time, so it might be best to wait until next year. I would still like to hear from DeKalb’s health director, though, to weigh in,” Riley told On Common Ground News.