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Arizona Campus Rec Handling COVID Complications

Jason Scott

The Student Recreation Center at the University of Arizona is under COVID-mitigation measures that limit capacity and mandate masks while inside the facility — but The Daily Wildcat reports that despite the best efforts of staff, some of those measures have proved difficult to enforce.

Equipment in the recreation center has been spaced out to allow for eight feet social distancing — above and beyond the six feet required on other parts of campus. Programs that don’t permit that much distancing, such as group fitness classes or contact sports, are not allowed. Meanwhile, racquetball and volleyball courts have become overflow space for equipment. Enhanced cleaning protocols are also in place.

Policies have shifted as the pandemic has continued. For instance, in order to ensure enforcement of social distancing and mask wearing, weight room capacity has decreased from  150 at the beginning of the fall 2020 semester to the current capacity at 130. However, according to facility services student coordinator Matthew Chaudhary, the decreased capacity has led to long waits for workouts.

“The lines are out the door sometimes — it's really bad,” Chaudhary told The Daily Wildcat. “So, to combat that, what we've done is, we have tried to adjust our hours at the North Rec facility a little bit to try to open up that capacity and take away from the main Rec and divert some people over to North Rec. And then additionally, we had another facility manager come on staff … to assist with [COVID-19] related policies.”

Associate director of facilities at campus recreation Renee Lima told The Daily Wildcat that students who wish to avoid the crowds can check out a live count on the campus recreation website, or visit during low-traffic times.

“Monday through Wednesday are our higher traffic days, and our highest times throughout the week is the afternoons,” Lima said, “So, really at noon, we’ll start hitting capacity. At about 4 p.m. is when the line gets probably about 30 minutes to get into the weight room.”

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