When students first walk into one of the several gyms on campus, at first glance everything looks like business as usual. However, Carlo Acquisto, who oversees the fitness centers, details the changes that were implemented in the fitness centers to ensure the safety and health of those that come to work out. What is noticed first, are the wipes and hand sanitizer at the entrance.
Acquisto stresses the importance of wiping down all equipment after each use. "When using equipment, you are sweating all over it, so it's important that you clean down all of the equipment that you use," he says. Often times, people wipe down the equipment before use as well. To assist with this, plenty of stations with spray bottles and paper towels are positioned throughout the fitness rooms.
One of the biggest changes that has been made in the fitness centers is to limit how many people can be in the room at once. Currently, only 15 students are allowed in the Wales Hall Fitness Center, on the DownCity campus, the Wildcat Fitness Center and the Rink indoor training facility, which are located on the Harborside campus. The Wildcat Center Main Gym only allows eight people at a time. An advanced reservation through an online sign up system for a specific one-hour time slot is required prior to working out. Slots are scheduled on the hour during various times throughout the week. Students are required to leave after 50 minutes so that workers can complete additional cleaning of all equipment to ensure the safety of the next round of students.
Another new guideline, Acquisto points out, is the distancing between two people when working out. Although the fitness centers allow up to 15 people inside, in certain workout areas, only five people are allowed to ensure proper distancing can take place. Some pieces of cardio equipment are not allowed to be used, with usually two empty treadmills in between people to ensure the safety of everyone. Masks are required to be worn expect during cardiovascular activity and when performing a lifting set; all other times, for example while walking from one machine to another, a mask is required to cover the mouth and nose.
Gyms are one of the places that can easily cause an outbreak of COVID, but with social distancing, limiting the amount of people allowed at one time and plenty of cleaning stations throughout the fitness centers, exercising can be as safe. Acquisto advises, "If you feel nervous about going to the fitness centers or the gym, a tip is to look at the signup sheet and see which time slots tend to have the least amount of people." By following these rules, Wildcats can continue to create JWU as a place of learning, a place for exercise and a place of safety.