Due to Gov. Roy Cooper shifting North Carolina to phase 2.5 of the three-phase COVID-19 reopening plan, public facilities like gyms can reopen at 30% capacity, allowing Carmichael Gymnasium to reopen. New gym hours will be Monday through Friday from 6 a.m. - 8 p.m. and Saturday and Sunday from 10 a.m. - 7 p.m.
Eric Hawkes, executive director of Wellness and Recreation, said the gym has new safety precautions in place coinciding with state standards.
“With all of the restrictions in place from the governor’s orders, everything within Carmichael has been shifted,” Hawkes said. “We’re using around 25% occupancy for all of our facility spaces, including the fitness center spaces. Where we would typically have 100 people in a space, that goes down to 25.”
According to Tim Hogan, director of NC State Student Centers, students and community members who use Carmichael are still required to wear a face mask while in the building.
“Following the governor’s orders, we have an exemption that if you are vigorously exercising then you can remove your face covering for that time,” Hawkes said.“Once you’re done, your face covering must go on.”
Students and members are still required to log onto the Wellness and Recreation app to register for a time slot in a fitness or wellness space. Hawkes cited legal reasons for requiring reservations before use of the spaces.
“To ensure that we don’t have more people in the space than we are legally allowed to, we have asked students and members to reserve a space in advance,” Hawkes said.
Reservations also allow for adequate cleaning time.
“When you reserve your time, your reservation is for one hour and 15 minutes,” Hawkes said. “At the end of that time, everyone leaves the fitness centers and our staff has 45 minutes to do a deep clean. We take 45 minutes and deep clean every surface that could be touched by someone while working out.”
Although the Carmichael Recreation Center's third floor is not open currently, many of the other fitness spaces have been converted to accommodate at least 6 feet of space between machines.
“We’ve converted the outdoor basketball courts into an outdoor fitness center for those people who want to be outside and aren’t comfortable coming inside and working out,” Hawkes said. “Typically, when we’re full throttle, we’re seeing upwards of 400 people using the indoor spaces and the outdoor spaces in a day.”
The gym also accepts walk-ins if a reservation was not filled or if someone fails to show up 15 minutes after their reservation time.
As for group fitness classes, most remain online, with the exception of a few.
“We’ve converted a basketball court into a cycling studio,” Hawkes said. “We have fitness pods and every piece of cardio is in a fitness pod.”
Other in-person classes include kickboxing, available as an outdoor boot camp, and mind body classes in the studio.
“I’ve been incredibly pleased with the compliance of all of our users wearing face coverings,” Hawkes said. “Everybody is really doing their part to keep the entire community safe.”
The Wellness and Recreation Center is set to open up sometime in October.