NU Recreation releases new guidelines for first phase of reopening


Daily File Photo by Owen Stidman

Henry Crown Sports Pavilion. The facility will be open to NU faculty and staff beginning Aug. 17 and students beginning Sept. 21.

Grace Wu, Reporter

Northwestern Recreation laid out preliminary reopening guidelines for the Henry Crown Sports Pavilion Friday.

In its monthly newsletter, NU Recreation said it will reopen its facilities on Aug. 17 to faculty and staff. For students, the facilities will be available on Sept. 21, after Wildcat Wellness ends.

The first priority is to safely open Crown Sports Pavilion “to a small portion of the community as we continue to finalize plans for our other facilities, including Blomquist (Recreation Center), Combe Tennis Center and Norris Aquatics Center,” Maureen Palchak, associate athletic director for recreation and athletics management, told The Daily in an email.

Crown Sports Pavilion will open in a phased approach, Palchak said. In the first phase, members of the NU community will have access to the main weight room on the ground floor and cardio spaces on the second floor. While bathrooms will be open in the first phase, locker rooms will remain closed, according to Palchak. Patrons will have to arrive dressed for using the facility and will be expected to shower or change at home.

Face masks will be required “at all times while in any recreational facility and spaces, even while exercising,” the Friday newsletter said. For patrons who use the Norris Aquatics Center, which will not be available in the first reopening phase, the face mask can be removed before entering the water and must be put back on upon exiting the water, according to the NU Recreation website.

Patrons will be required to sanitize their hands “immediately upon entry” and hand-washing is “strongly recommended,” the website added. Patrons are expected to maintain a six-foot distance from other people while moving throughout the building, and they are expected to maintain a 10-foot distance from others during high-exertion activities, according to the website.

Members of the NU community will have to make reservations — which will be available 24 hours before the reservation start time — on the NU Recreation website to access recreation facilities, according to the website. Patrons are limited to one 50-minute reservation per space, per day, and they are required to stay in the specific fitness area they reserved, the website said. Patrons are also expected to wipe down all equipment before and after use. Spotting and partner workouts are prohibited for the time being.

Equipment lending, including towel service, is suspended, the newsletter said. However, patrons are allowed to bring their own personal fitness items. Bottle filling stations are expected to be available. Additional hand sanitizer and gym wipe stations have been added throughout Crown Sports Pavilion, and NU Recreation said it has developed an “extensive plan to allow for thorough cleaning and disinfecting.”

By swiping one’s membership card when entering the recreational center, one attests that they do not exhibit any common coronavirus symptoms, has not been in close contact with a confirmed or suspected COVID-19 case and has not traveled outside of the U.S. within the last 14 days, the NU Recreation website said.

In-person group exercises will not be offered in the first phase of return, Palchak said. However, NU Recreation has already begun offering some group exercises virtually. According to the newsletter, there are plans for group exercises and personal training to be offered in-person and virtually. Competitive Sports will also offer eSport opportunities for the NU community to “have fun and engage digitally,” the newsletter said.

In an email sent to club sports leaders on Tuesday, Competitive Sports staff addressed competitions and practices for club sports and intramurals. In Fall Quarter, there will be no intercollegiate club competitions and travel for sport clubs, and club sports will not be able to begin practicing until after Wildcat Wellness ends. Over the course of the next month, the staff said it will be working with sport clubs “to develop a practice schedule that we feel is fair and equitable,” the email said.

Email: [email protected]
Twitter: @gracewu_10

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