Saturday, May 23, marked the start of Recovery Order Phase II in Springfield, MO. The city order allows gyms to operate with a limited number of attendees and extends until Monday, June 22, 2020.
Recovery Order Phase II also allows nonessential businesses to open and restaurants provide in-store seating, provided social distancing and limited capacity guidelines are followed.
All Ozarks Regional YMCA facilities are following the guidelines set by the City of Springfield, according to their website. The G. Pearson Ward location at 417 S. Jefferson Ave. is set to reopen on June 1.
The Ward downtown location is only a few miles from Missouri State University’s campus.
The Ozarks Regional YMCA website states its basketball and racquetball courts will not be open, children under 16 will not be allowed and most aquatic-based areas such as hot tubs, saunas and showers will also be closed.
Only Ozarks Regional YMCA based members are allowed to access the location’s facilities at this time; nationwide members and guests are not permitted. This will be monitored through a single exit/entry point into the building, as well as a self scanning system to maintain social distancing guidelines.
The YMCA website encourages attendees to bring their own supplies and wipe down all equipment after use. It also encourages attendees to wear a mask whenever possible, “especially in common areas where other members are present.”
The website mentions the new hours allow the YMCA time for cleaning and sanitizing.
As for Missouri State’s campus Foster Recreation Center is slated to officially open on Monday, July 6, according to Ashleigh Lewellen, director of campus recreation. There will be limited summer hours from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. Monday-Thursday and 7 a.m. to 2 p.m. on Fridays.
Lewellen highlighted the Rec’s precautionary measures in response to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, such as limited occupancy, a new pre-registration feature, new equipment layout, mid-day closing for “focused sanitation,” increased access to cleaning supplies, employee safety protocols and an “increased expectation of patron responsibility.”
Lewellen said services such as towel rentals are still available thanks to sanitization procedures, but patrons are still encouraged to bring their own supplies. There are also goggles and sweat towels available for purchase at the front desk.
The gym’s official reopening will be “phase one,” and more features and amenities will be added in later phases. The staggered phases will help the Rec to understand what needs to be developed further, Lewellen said.
Lewellen said the aquatic center and the climbing wall will open in “phase two,” and the sauna will remain closed until further notice.
Lewellen mentioned only one gymnasium is open for sports at this time. The other two have been converted into separate spaces, one for cardio and ab fitness and the other for table tennis. Larger pickup games of basketball are not allowed due to social distancing guidelines.
Lewellen hopes to open all areas fully by the start of the 2020 fall semester. She asks for patience regarding the new procedures and is looking forward to “thriving in the fall with expanded programs and services.”