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Tempe halts sports tournaments, closes gyms inside community centers

(Pixabay Photo)

PHOENIX – Tempe on Friday joined neighboring Phoenix in putting a halt to sports tournaments at city facilities as COVID-19 cases surge across the region and state.

Tempe also announced it will close the gyms and fitness centers at the Kiwanis, North Tempe, Escalante and Westside community centers starting Monday.

Other services, including afterschool programs, will remain available at the East Valley suburb’s community centers.

No changes are being made at the Kiwanis Tennis Center, city playgrounds and ramadas or the services offered at the Tempe Public Library because physical distancing can be safely achieved.

The release said the decision on sports tournaments was made to help avoid large group gatherings.

Tempe City Hall, Tempe History Museum, Edna Vihel Arts Center, Pyle Adult Recreation Center, Tempe Center for the Arts and all city senior centers remain closed.

On Wednesday, the Phoenix City Council voted to halt all athletic field reservations and tournaments at facilities managed by the city in an effort to mitigate the spread of coronavirus.

Arizona has been seeing a surge in coronavirus cases and hospitalizations, putting a strain on health care resources.

The state health department reported 5,680 new coronavirus cases and 64 more deaths on Friday, putting the pandemic totals at 352,101 COVID-19 infections and 6,885 fatalities.

It was the third day this week with more than 5,000 new cases reported, a mark that had never previously been reached.

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