Students, faculty and staff will be returning to the gym fall semester, but exercising there will look a little different.
Ohio State announced Thursday that university recreational spaces will be open when students return to campus, with certain changes. Some of the restrictions include required face mask usage, physical distancing, occupancy limits, limited hours, prohibitions on high contact activities like basketball, limited class sizes, and amenity closures, according to the university website.
Which facilities will reopen and which, if any, will remain closed has not yet been determined, Dave Isaacs, spokesperson for the Office of Student Life, said in an email.
Intramural sports will be conducted virtually until Recreational Sports determines “appropriate standards” for scheduling practices and competitions.
Face masks will be required in all common spaces and the website states that patrons are encouraged to ask their doctor if it is advisable to exercise with a required face mask. People will also need to maintain a physical distance of 6 to 10 feet unless spotting a weight lifter for safety purposes. Equipment will be spaced at least 6 feet apart.
Staff will be stationed throughout the fitness centers to clean high-touch surfaces and equipment throughout the day, the website states. All surfaces will be cleaned by staff each night. Cleaning supplies will also be available for patrons to clean equipment before and after each exercise.
High-contact and confined-space activities, such as indoor and outdoor basketball and volleyball, racquetball, soccer and squash, will not be allowed by state and university guidance, the website states. Instead, some of these spaces will be repurposed for cardio and strength exercises.
Limited- and no-contact activities will be allowed; these include running, jogging, walking, swimming, table tennis, pickleball, tennis, badminton and bouldering. Group classes will continue to be held virtually, but will also be available in-person by reservation and drop-in at limited capacity for physical distancing.
All lounges, meeting rooms, saunas and spas will be closed. However, the website states that lounges and meeting rooms may be used under “approved reservations.”
The RPAC Kids Zone will remain closed for the beginning of the semester, but the website states that it may reopen with a phased approach.
The fitness centers will limit the use of day lockers to operate with physical distancing. Locker rentals at the RPAC will be accessible but should be used with appropriate physical distancing, according to the website. Lost and found will only operate for high-value items like cell phones and credit cards.
All Outdoor Adventure Center trips will run virtually until the university travel restrictions are lifted. All university travel has been restricted since March 11. These restrictions have been extended through Dec. 31.