Gyms have new safety rules, cleaning times, limits on numbers of patrons
Nearly two months after being closed, Davidson Fitness Center and Specker Gym will reopen to patrons on May 14, Col. Eric Towns, U.S. Army Garrison Fort Leonard Wood commander, announced May 13.
“I’m very happy to announce that tomorrow morning, our gyms on Fort Leonard Wood will reopen,” Towns said during the installation’s weekly virtual COVID-19 town hall, quickly adding that the reopenings will come with new risk-mitigation procedures.
“Number one, we’re going to monitor the number of people we let in at any given time. It will be fewer people than are normally in there to ensure that we can maintain those social distances,” he said. “We are going to monitor which pieces of equipment are open, ensuring that we are spacing people out. You’ll see, for instance, in Specker Gym, some of the pieces of equipment will be closed one day and open the next day, and alternating that way.
“We’re also going to keep the locker rooms closed,” he added. “There will be latrines (open) in the fitness facilities, but the locker rooms will stay closed until we can assess the impact of opening them back up. We will constantly reassess that.”
Family and Morale, Welfare and Recreation officials posted new schedules and a detailed list of new safety measures on their website at https://leonardwood.armymwr.com, as well as on the FMWR Facebook page and an email distributed post-wide today. Among the information in those posts:
— Both DFC and Specker Gym will follow the same schedules and will be closed during designated cleaning hours starting at 10 a.m. and 2 p.m. Weekday hours are from 5 to 10 a.m., 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. and 3 to 7 p.m. Weekend hours are from 8 to 10 a.m., 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. and 3 p.m. to 7 p.m. Holiday hours are 8 a.m. to 4 p.m., with one cleaning hour from noon to 1 p.m.
— Only Department of Defense ID-card holders will be permitted in the gyms.
— No children ages 15 or younger will be permitted in the facilities. Patrons ages 16 and older will be allowed to work out alone.
— Social distancing will be enforced.
— No bags will be allowed in the workout areas.
— Sports beverages will be available with credit-card purchases only.
— Patrons are required to clean each piece of equipment after use.
— Patrons are required to wash or sanitize their hands before working out.
— In Specker Gym, only 80 patrons will be allowed in the weight room at any given time. The cardio room remains closed but will reopen pending the completion of construction.
— In DFC, the weight room will be limited to 20 patrons at a time; the cardio room will be limited to 17 patrons, and the courts, which include the areas with squat racks, self-propelled machines, sleds, free weights and bikes, will be limited to 35 patrons at a time. The indoor track will be limited to 15 patrons at a time. The Family Fitness Room will remain closed.
Additionally, all instructional classes remain suspended pending further notice.
Katy Carter, FMWR Business and Recreation chief, said that safety measures may be subject to change as conditions are evaluated in the coming days and weeks.
“We want to ask our patrons for patience as we reopen and continue to evaluate what works and what doesn’t,” she said. “Of course, we will continue to listen to feedback while maintaining our goal to ensure the safety of both our patrons and our employees.”
Towns urged those planning to go to the gyms to visit the FMWR website and review the new rules and procedures.
“I urge you to follow them,” he said. “The only way we’re going to be able to keep (the gyms) open and continue to expand services around the installation, is for (patrons) to follow those rules and help us in our responsibility to keep you and the rest of the community safe.”