Following Gov. Andy Beshear’s plan for a phased loosening of closures around the state, the JCC has announced it will reopen its Health & Wellness Center on June 1.
It will mark the first phase in the reopening of the Dutchmans Lane facility, which has been closed to the public since March 13.
“Health & Wellness is our first opportunity to open our doors and it makes the most sense,” said Sara Klein Wagner, president & CEO of the Jewish Community of Louisville. “People have been cooped up in their houses. Using Health & Wellness to keep a healthy mind, body and soul is what we’re here to provide.”
The JCC also plans to reopen its indoor and outdoor lap pools on June 1, for lap swimming only, “pending guidance from our state government and the Jefferson County Board of Health,” Aquatics Director Johnny Kimberlin said. The family pools will remain closed until further notice.
Once it reopens, Health & Wellness will operate differently, reflecting the new reality of life during the coronavirus pandemic.
Plans are being made now for how the Health & Wellness Center will operate in the new environment. According to its director, Susan Kwasny. The center is following guidelines from the governor.”
At this time, this much is known:
- Exercise machines will be made available, with appropriate spacing to ensure proper social distancing.
- Group fitness classes will be limited to nine people per class, plus the instructor.
- Group fitness class signups will be done at the Health & Wellness desk.
- The center will close every day from 1 to 2 p.m. to sanitize the facility.
- No group sports, including racquetball, pickleball and pickup basketball, will be permitted at first.
- The capacity for each exercise room will differ and staff will monitor them for compliance.
“We are training all our desk staff, floor staff and all our fitness instructors,” Kwasny said.
She also said her staff is implementing a process to thoroughly sanitize and have more deep cleanings throughout the day.
“We’re hoping people will be understanding of our safety guidelines,” Kwasny said. “We know that things will be different, that the center will be different, just as the world is different today.”
She said the staff is looking for guidance from the governor, and we will make further decisions based on what he suggests.
Forty-five part-time desk and fitness staff will return to work.
While the reopening is being done in phases, Kwasny doesn’t know yet how long this first phase will last. She did say class sizes will likely increase under phase II and the new cleaning protocols will stay in place.
“We don’t anticipate changing our cleaning protocols; we would see it through the various phases of reopening.”
But she said the Health & Wellness can be run safely.
“We feel confident that we can put these guidelines into effect,” she said, “to minimize any safety risks.