STOUGHTON, Mass. — Step 2 of Phase 3 starts Monday in Massachusetts, but only in low-risk areas for COVID-19. Boston and other cities with higher rates of COVID-19 will not be able to move to this next step yet.
“Very excited to be reopening, but there’s a lot of anxiety as well because it’s a huge responsibility,” said Susan Greenblatt, who owns Kidsports in Stoughton. “It’s been pretty devastating, we’ve been doing this for 25 years, this has been my life for the last 25 years, working seven days a week, just to come to a screeching halt like that, it was hard.”
Kidsports and other indoor recreational facilities got the green light from the state to ease back into business this week. Kidsports has an indoor playground, mini bowling lanes, arcade games and laser tag.
Even though they’re now allowed to open at 50% capacity, Greenblatt said they’ll probably only start at about 30%.
“We get calls every day, probably, the last four or five weeks, constantly, ‘are you open, are you open, are you doing birthday parties?’ and so it’s encouraging because we feel there are a lot of people who are ready to come back,” Greenblatt said. “But we also know there are a lot of people who are not ready to come back to places like this.”
Greenblatt said they’re spending this week setting up more sanitation stations as they prepare to reopen after closing for about seven months. They’ll also require all kids to wash their hands when they come in, and they’ll open only for reservations.
“We’ll have the ability to have certain times of the day where a play session will end and there will be a gap before another play session begins, so that we can really get in here and do some heavy-duty cleaning,” Greenblatt said.
Along with indoor playgrounds, trampoline parks and laser tag will also reopen this week; plus gyms, museums and libraries will be able to increase their capacity to 50%.
Even though this is exciting for businesses like Kidsports, Greenblatt worries their business may never be the same because of the pandemic.
“I’m concerned, but the fact that we can reopen is at least a step in the right direction and, you know, we’ll play it by ear and see how it goes once we reopen – see what people need, what people are ready for; we’ll just go from there,” Greenblatt said.
Kidsports will also only be open on weekends for indoor play and birthday parties since there’s also a day care center there during the week. All children will have to wear their masks the entire time as well.