COVID-19 Response: Updates & FAQs

RecWell Reopening FAQs

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Updated 2/12/21

Recreation and Wellness - Current updates

New Minnesota Department of Health guidelines have increased our maximum capacity at URWC to 250. Be sure to check our live capacity tracker before you visit. There may be a short wait to access the facility if we are at our maximum capacity. Thank you in advance for your patience. 

As Governor Walz said, “Although outdoor recreation and exercise continue to be the safest way to stay active, we also need options to exercise indoors.” RecWell is glad to be able to offer you the opportunity to return to your workout routine at our facilities and encourage you to make informed decisions based on your personal health.

What to expect when you visit:

Health Screening:

Continue to check for symptoms of COVID-19 before entering using the posted health screening signs; if you are experiencing symptoms do not enter, go home, and contact your doctor. 

Capacity:

To limit the facility to 250 visitors max, you’ll automatically be added to our reservation system when you swipe in using your U Card or UMN RecWell App.

New: Please limit your visit to 1 hour and swipe your U-Card on your way out; equipment is first come-first serve.

Physical distancing & face coverings:

Remain 9 feet apart from others while exercising and 6 feet apart at all other times.

Closed:

St. Paul Gym pool, climbing wall, group fitness classes, French Meadow Cafe.

Open:

Locker rooms, COA Rental Center, fitness areas with equipment spaced 12 feet apart, and reservation based open recreation spaces for individual workouts only (no games or gatherings). Showers and lap swim at the Minneapolis facility will open January 4, 2021.

Note: The Boynton Health MTest COVID-19 testing site at our Minneapolis location is open and accepting appointments during winter break.

Updated 12/29/20
Your safety, and that of our staff, is our top priority, and we have implemented health and safety guidelines set by the Minnesota Department of Health (MDH), the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), and the University of Minnesota. Many of our services, amenities, and activities will be available in phases, and some of our spaces will have new capacity limits based on the guidelines and out of an abundance of caution.

Face coverings are required at all times in Recreation and Wellness facilities, and may not be removed during exercise. Members may only remove their face covering while showering, drinking or during water activities while in the pools/diving wells.

We need your cooperation, and that of all of our members, to help keep our community safe so please wear your mask and do not visit our facilities if you are experiencing any symptoms of COVID-19 (see below for a detailed list of symptoms and mask requirements.)

We will continue to update this page with additional information, so check back often. Please contact us at recwell@umn.edu if you have any questions or concerns. 

What changes are you implementing to keep members safe?

  • Mask requirement: All patrons must wear a face mask per University policy and the Governor of Minnesota's Executive Order at all times, even while exercising.  
    • Face coverings may only be removed when showering, drinking or participating in water-based activities in the pools and diving wells.
    • No other activities, no matter how strenuous, are exempt.
    • Patrons will be asked to comply with guidance and direction provided by staff
  • Symptom Screening: All patrons and staff are asked to self-screen for symptoms of COVID-19 and not enter the facility if they are feeling unwell, have known exposure in the last 14 days to someone with COVID-19, or are experiencing any symptoms as defined by the Minnesota Department of Health (MDH):
    • Fever, cough, shortness of breath, chills, headache, muscle pain, sore throat, fatigue, congestion, or loss of taste or smell. Other less common symptoms include gastrointestinal symptoms like nausea, vomiting, or diarrhea.
  • Physical distancing: Members and staff will be asked to stay a minimum of 12ft apart while exercising, and 6ft apart at all other times. Exercise equipment will be moved to ensure at least 6 ft of physical distance.
  • Capacity limits:To limit the facility to 100 visitors max, you’ll automatically be added to our reservation system when you swipe in using your U Card or UMN RecWell App.

    New: Please limit your visit to 1 hour and swipe your U-Card on your way out. 25% max capacity for each individual space; equipment is first come-first serve.

    Please limit your visit to 1 hour.

    Enhanced cleaning protocols: We are implementing and training our staff on enhanced cleaning procedures using a variety of disinfecting agents effective against coronavirus. In order to perform our enhanced cleaning procedures, some areas and/or equipment may be temporarily unavailable for use throughout the day.
  • Staff precautions: All staff will wear masks, regularly wash their hands while working, and stay home if they are not feeling well, have known exposure to an individual with COVID-19, or experiencing any symptoms of COVID-19 as defined by the MDH (see "Symptom Screening" above for full list.)
    • Staff experiencing symptoms or with known exposure to COVID-19 will report this to the designated departmental COVID-19 staff response lead who will initiate contact tracing and communication protocol established by the University.
    • Member Services staff will be separated from members by partitions.

What are your expectations of members?

  • The safety of our employees and our members is a shared responsibility. As such, we ask all of our patrons to:
    • Stay home or go home if they feel ill or experience any symptoms of COVID-19 as defined by the Minnesota Department of Health:
      • Fever, cough, shortness of breath, chills, headache, muscle pain, sore throat, fatigue, congestion, or loss of taste or smell. Other less common symptoms include gastrointestinal symptoms like nausea, vomiting, or diarrhea.
    • Wear a face mask per University policy and the Governor of Minnesota's Executive Order at all times, even while exercising.
      • Face coverings may only be removed when showering, drinking or participating in water-based activities in the pools and diving wells.
      • Patrons will be asked to comply with guidance and direction provided by staff.
      • Wash hands often following CDC recommendations
      • Wipe down equipment before and after each use with wipes / disinfectant provided
      • Observe physical distancing of 6ft or more
      • Avoid physical contact (high fives, hand shakes, basketball games, etc)
      • Respect and follow safety procedures, guidelines, directional signage, and instructions from staff

What is the new mask policy?

We are now requiring patrons and staff to wear appropriate face coverings at all times in Recreation and Wellness facilities, including while exercising.

  • Face coverings may only be removed when showering, drinking or participating in water-based activities in the pools and diving wells.
  • No other activities, no matter how strenuous, are exempt.
  • Our revised mask policy is not a replacement for other good health practices, so we encourage you to continue maintaining physical distance, wash your hands regularly, and monitor for symptoms.

Why are you requiring that patrons wear a face covering at all times - even while exercising?

It is now mandated by the State of Minnesota. Additionally, mounting evidence suggests that proper and consistent use of masks is an effective barrier to slow the spread of COVID-19 when practiced in conjunction with physical distancing and other good health practices. We want to do our part to help slow the spread on campus while providing a safe place for the campus community to recreate.

Are there any exceptions to the mask policy?

Face coverings can only be removed while:

  • Performing water-based activities in the pools/diving wells
  • Showering
  • Drinking
  • No other activities are exempt

What if I have a condition that prevents me from wearing a mask?

Individuals whose unique and individual circumstances require accommodations due to this directive, as indicated by a medical or similar subject matter professional, may request alternative face covering options by contacting the Disability Resource Center.

Will there still be handscanners to enter the facility? Can I swipe my card?

Card reader machines will be available for members to self-swipe.

For your safety, we replaced hand scanners with barcode scanners that use a free app. We recommend you download it before your first visit! Here’s how it works:

  • Search and download “UMN RecWell” from the App store 
  • Open app and click Member ID 
  • Students and Faculty/Staff - log in with your U of M Internet ID
  • Other RecWell Members - use the Fusion log-in you created to make online purchases or register for Group Fit classes
  • When your barcode pops up, scan it at the turnstile.
  • Barcodes are valid for 30 seconds and you'll get a new barcode each time you log in.
  • See a Member Service Representative at the front desk if you need help!

What is open at the Center for Outdoor Adventure?

  • Click here for hours and rates.
  • The bouldering wall is closed at URWC for winter break. The St. Paul Gym bouldering wall is also open with limited capacity. No top-roping (partner climbing) will be permitted at this time.

What are the current hours of operation?

Current University Recreation and Wellness Center and St. Paul Gym hours can be found hereFacility hours will be evaluated on a continuous basis in adherence with safety guidelines.

What are the pool hours for lap swim in Minneapolis and St. Paul?

  • Current pool hours for lap swim can be found here. Note: advance reservations are required.
  • The St. Paul Gym pool remains closed.

Do you have a lost and found?

Yes, we are storing high value items such as watches, glasses, electronics, keys etc. but not clothing, towels, or other cloth wearable items. Lost and Found locations in Minneapolis are the front membership desk and the equipment room, and at the St. Paul Gym in the equipment room.

What amenities are not currently available?

  • Following guidance from the CDC, MDH, and University, the following will not be available until further notice:
    • Vending machines
    • Drinking fountains; only contactless bottle fillers will be available for use. We encourage members to bring their own refillable, reusable bottles
    • Towel service (both in our locker rooms and throughout the facilities). We encourage members to bring their own towel(s).
    • Saunas
    • Steam rooms
    • Non-single stalled showers
    • Stretching mats

What facility access options are not currently available?

  • Following guidance from the MDH, CDC, and the University, the following will not be available until further notice:
    • Guest Passes
    • Family Day

Which cardio machines are available?

  • About half of our machines will be available in their normal locations to allow for appropriate social distancing between members while working out. 
  • In order to perform enhanced cleaning, certain areas and equipment may be temporarily unavailable or out-of-service.
  • Members should wipe down equipment after each use (disinfecting wipes will be available throughout the facility).
  • Members should remain in their workout stations to cool down and only leave that station when they feel safe and comfortable donning a mask.
  • All floor fans will be removed from the activity areas; large ceiling fans will not be turned on.

What fitness equipment is available?

  • The following functional equipment can be checked out at the North and South equipment rooms:
    • Various exercise balls
    • Various exercise bands
    • Jump ropes
    • Attachments for cable pulling machines
    • Mats for stretching
  • Weights and kettlebells, and a limited number of barbells will still be available on the floor.
  • Not all selectorized weight machines will be available each day
  • Large stretching mats have been removed.
  • Foam and rumble rollers will not be available.
  • Members should remain in their workout stations to cool down and only leave that station when they feel safe and comfortable donning a mask.

Are racquetball / squash / handball courts open for use?

  • Courts are enclosed spaces and competitive play does not allow for proper physical distancing, so court usage will be limited to solo practice only. Usage will be monitored by staff and reservations are required.

Will competitive sports (intramurals and sports clubs) be offered or available?

Is massage therapy still offered?

  • We are not offering chair or table massages until further notice.

Are there Group Fitness classes? 

  • There are no Group Fitness classes at this time.

Is Personal Training available?

  • In-person personal training will occur on a case by case basis, in accordance to physical distancing and other guidelines (no spotting / assisting clients), as well as the comfort level of both client and trainer.

Is Small Group Training available?

  • Small Group Training will occur on a case by case basis, in accordance to distancing guidelines, as well as the comfort level of both the trainer/instructor and the clients; groups will need to be less than 10 people to adhere to current gathering size guidelines. 

Is pick-up basketball and other Open Rec Sports (e.g. pickup basketball, group dance practices, or court sports, etc.) allowed?

  • Basketball will be available but limited only to shooting hoops/pracitcing shooting at this time.
    • Four hoops can be reserved in both the MAC Gym (URWC 4th floor) the Field House for shooting.
    • Reservations can be made on shoprecwell.umn.edu via the Courts section.
    • Reservations are limited to one hoop for 30 minutes per day per member.
    • Members may add one other individual to the online reservation for a maximum of two people per hoop. Each will have their own ball.
  • Volleyball is unavailable at this time.
  • Outdoor tennis is available at the St. Paul courts.
  • Table Tennis in URWC is open.
  • Badminton is available in Cooke Hall.
  • We will continue to re-evaluate these spaces and activity offerings.

 

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