Embry-Riddle Prescott Reopens Campus Fitness Center

COVID-19 Restrictions Still In Place

By Julian O’Connor, Correspondent

While the COVID-19 pandemic is still affecting the entire country, there are many restrictions in place at Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University to ensure the continued health and safety of the student body. Until recently, these restrictions included the closure of the Fitness Center. However, with the recession in cases in Yavapai County, the university has seen fit to reopen the Fitness Center at limited capacity. 

Jaime Long, Director of Athletics at the Prescott Campus, says about making the decision to reopen the Fitness Center, “The metrics set forth by the State of Arizona reached the moderate range; which allowed 25% capacity. With the governor’s latest order- full capacity allowed if social distancing observed- we have moved to a 30-person occupancy this week which is 50%.” 

Of course, even with the Fitness Center opened, there are still additional protocols that must be observed to ensure patrons’ safety. These include, according to Long, “A limited occupancy of 50% currently, students must wear masks, spotting is not allowed, access is currently limited to current ERAU students.” 

In addition, the university is also taking extra steps to prevent the spread of COVID-19, such as “enhanced cleaning procedures, which includes more frequent cleaning of surfaces, deep cleanings, and providing cleaning products for fitness centers patrons.” Long adds that the university also “began utilizing a reservation system to monitor occupancy.”

Of course, with the recent announcement made by the university that on-campus students are now eligible for vaccination in Yavapai county, some may be wondering if there will be any exceptions to the restrictions made for those who have been vaccinated. Long says that “That has not been something we have discussed yet. It will probably be a larger discussion of what is allowed throughout the campus for those that are vaccinated.”

Long adds that the reopening of the Fitness Center is in line with university and government policies, saying that “We have and continue to follow all ERAU, state, and CDC guidelines- which include continued mask wearing, enhanced cleaning, appropriate signage to remind patrons of social distancing and Covid protocols.” 

In conclusion, Long says that she feels that the decision to reopen the Fitness Center was the right one, saying that “The metrics show that we are in a much safer place than the beginning of the semester. Hopefully as the vaccination continues to roll out, we will be able to offer more for the students. I think that a student’s physical health greatly impacts their mental health and well-being.”