The director of The Community Center in Madison announced on Tuesday that the center would remain open during its normal operating hours, but with restrictions in place to help protect public health.

Nicholas Hansen, Community Center director, said, "The decision to remain open will be re-evaluated daily and changes will be made as needed."

On Monday, the staff had posted on the entry doors that no children age 17 or younger would be admitted to The Community Center even if accompanied by an adult, parent or guardian. The facility had canceled its after-school program and discontinued child care for its patrons.

The staff had also canceled group fitness classes, including aquatics classes. They planned to keep the indoor pool open, but only for use by lap swimmers. The indoor pool would not hold open-swim session and swimming lessons were discontinued.

The Community Center staff has canceled all group activities and leagues that are held in its gyms, including noon basketball, pickleball and ping-pong sessions.

The center's staff has increased its cleaning efforts and reviewed the disinfecting protocols conducted on behalf of its members. Sanitizing wipes are available for use on equipment, and supplies of hand-sanitizer are available.

The staff asked that patrons who have a compromised immune system or clients who feel ill stay home. Patrons are asked to check for announcements and updates on the internet and news outlets. For additional information, The Community Center's phone number is 256-5837.

Hansen included in a statement that the staff planned to " through these unprecedented times and get back to normal as soon as we can."

Other Madison facilities

City officials decided on Monday to close the Downtown Armory to gatherings, including Madison's recreation programs, and to close public access to the Madison Public Library until April 1.

The decision was made in response to advice from federal officials promoting "social distancing" to slow the infection rate of the COVID-19 virus.

Previously, the staff at the Madison Public Library decided to close the building to public access March 16-22. Through the library's website, the librarians have offered "curbside service" to patrons who order books and other library items via phone or email and schedule a time and date for outside pick-up of the material.

Officials with the Centers for Disease Control have provided continually-lowered group limits for people to gather in public. David Jencks, city attorney for Madison, told the commissioners that the group number was lowered to 10 persons during Monday's White House press conference.

Also during the press conference, federal officials advised that, "Americans should follow the increased CDC guidelines for the next 15 days, after which the agency will re-evaluate whether those recommendations will be extended."

City Commissioner Mike Waldner said he would contact officials with the Madison Fire Department to determine what they have planned for the April 4 Fireman's Dance scheduled in the Downtown Armory.