CASA GRANDE — Schools are closed, activities are canceled and the doors to gyms, libraries and other gathering places are temporarily shuttered due to concerns about coronavirus, but there's still plenty to do.
Both movie theaters in the area— Harkins Theatres in Casa Grande and the Ultrastar Multitainment Center in Maricopa — have both announced that they are still open and are taking extra precautions to keep movie-goers safe from germs.
Both theaters announced they plan to reduce the number of seats sold for each movie to allow for more space between attendees and greater social distancing.
"Guided by recommendations from WHO and CDC and other public health authorities, we have escalated our already stringent daily sanitary practices and taken additional precautionary measures to maintain the highest standards of sanitation and cleanliness in our theatres," the company said on its Facebook page.
Among the heightened measures the company is taking include:
- Sanitizing seats, door handles, counters, dispensers, touch screens, railings and other items.
- Making alcohol-based hand sanitizer available to customers and workers
- Educating employees about respiratory symptoms, hygiene and cough etiquette.
- Using disposable paper cups rather than reusable loyalty cups for refills.
- Temporarily reducing the price of all popcorn and drink sizes by $1 and discontinuing refils on large sizes.
Until the danger of infection has passed, Ultrastar will only sell 50 tickets per movie and block some Star Class seats.
Efforts to improve social distancing extends to its restaurants and bowling lanes.
Restaurants in the multitainment center will reduce seating capacity by 50%.
Bowlers will be spread out with an empty lane between bowling parties.
All live events for the month of March at the facility have been postponed or cancelled.
Below is a list of other activities that are still open and perfect for spring.
- Arizona State Parks and Trails are still open and wildflowers are starting to bloom in many parks including Picacho Peak State Park, Catalina, Lost Dutchman and Alamo Lake.
- Boyce Thompson Arboretum near Florence is open although special walks, docent tours, events and programs are temporarily cancelled. Handrails, doorknobs, counters and other items are regularly sanitized. The park features three miles of trails as well as 392 acres of landscaping with 3,900 different species of plants.
- Most area parks and playgrounds are still open.
- The Scholastic Learn at Home website, www.scholastic.com/learnathome, is offering children in grades kindergarten through sixth grade and higher the chance to access their website to continue learning while school is not in session. The website has articles and activities.
- Spring break and the extended period of social distancing is also a great time to learn a new craft, read books and newspapers, play board games or cards, learn few magic tricks, bake or find a fun new activities to enjoy.