SHOW LOW — Following the lifting of COVID-19 restrictions, the White Mountain Community Dance Hall in Linden, non-profit organization, re-opened their doors for the season on April 19 for western dancing and May 18 for square dancing (White Mountain Rim Rompers). Now, just short of two months being open, the hall has closed its doors until July 2 or longer, perhaps, with 14 people reporting they have tested positive for COVID-19.
Club President Ken Baker and his wife Virginia, who is treasurer, sent out an email on June 18 to an undisclosed list of recipients advising anyone who had been to the hall recently to contact them. They also notified them that on the advice of a physician they were closing the hall for 14 days to quarantine or “clear out the hall.”
“We have been advised of at least 4 cases of COVID-19 at our hall,” stated Virginia. “We have posted it (on) Facebook and our website asking for anyone who may have contracted COVID-19 in the last week to contact us ASAP.”
Immediately following the announcement, they learned of another positive case, bringing the total that day to five.
Ken said they also advised Juniper Ridge, whose residents often attend the dance hall, about the outbreak and their office said they would share the information with their residents.
Virginia Baker said that until Sunday, June 21, the people who reported testing positive were mostly seated at one table in the main hall. But, a couple and their son who came late on June 11, and were seated at a table across the hall, have now reported that they have tested positive.
Two of the persons who reported a positive test told the Bakers they had been vaccinated.
The Bakers fear there are more out there who attended the dance that evening that may have contracted COVID-19 and not be aware of it, which is why they acted so quickly to get the word out.
Up until June 11, the hall had attracted around 40 persons to the hall on Friday nights. June 11 was their biggest night so far with 70 people attending.
Those that have reported testing positive were at the hall on Friday, June 11.
“We wanted to close in the interest of everyone’s health,” said Ken. “That is why we took the precautions right away in closing the hall.”
Should they get more positive reports, this coming Wednesday, June 23, the board will meet and decide whether or not they will re-open or remain closed for the summer. The hall is normally open from May to September each year and is located at the corners of Lone Pine Dam Road and Old Hwy. 160. It is located in Linden but has a Show Low address.
The physician who advised that the hall should close for two weeks was the physician of two of the persons who were diagnosed with COVID-19. The Bakers said they have not been contacted by Navajo County Health Department regarding the outbreak to date.
In the meantime, the dance hall is asking anyone who has attended recent events at the hall to contact them at (602) 689-7189.
Their website is http://www.happydancing.us/WMDH.