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DANVILLE — It’s been nearly a year since the public has been able to venture onto the ice at Danville’s David S. Palmer Arena because of the pandemic, but it looks like it’s going to happen next month.

General Manager Joe Dunagan can’t wait.

“I’m so excited to see events and people out there,” he said Friday.

Arena officials have been taking it slow — first letting organizations that Dunagan said “had leadership and administration in place to implement and follow their protocols for COVID, and we’ve been observing to see how that works.”

He said the process has gone well.

Arena staff are more comfortable that the ice can be opened to the general public.

A number of hockey teams have been using the arena, including the University of Illinois club three times a week.

The first public ice time is set for 2:30 to 5:30 p.m. March 6. Various other times will be available during the weekends next month.

Skaters will be required to wear face masks, and only a certain number of people will be allowed in.

How many remains to be seen.

Dunagan said that all depends on the public mandates set down by Vermilion County.

He said the numbers could change by the week, even the day.

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