How Ball State's Recreation Services will operate during the pandemic

<p>As of March 19, 2020, Ball State announced it will be closing all its recreational and sports facilities until further notice.&nbsp;The announcement was made after the joint disaster emergency declaration&nbsp;by Delaware County and the City of Muncie. <strong>Samantha Brammer, DN File</strong></p>

As of March 19, 2020, Ball State announced it will be closing all its recreational and sports facilities until further notice. The announcement was made after the joint disaster emergency declaration by Delaware County and the City of Muncie. Samantha Brammer, DN File

According to its reopening plan, Ball State’s Recreation Services will reopen its locations, hours and programming July 6 based on available staffing and with certain guidelines and restrictions for the summer and fall semesters.


Classes and outdoor exercise

The plan states class sizes must be spaced to accommodate physical distancing of at least 6 feet between people and equipment.

Programming that does not provide the ability to maintain this physical distancing requirement will be suspended, modified or have its capacity limited, it states.

Outdoor exercise classes may be an alternative option, the plan states, promoting existing outdoor activities such as the trips and clinics provided by the Recreation Services’ Outdoor Pursuits program.

For trips, Recreation Services will transport participants in vehicles that can seat eight passengers and institute a requirement for face masks to be worn in the vehicle. Participants will also be allowed to drive themselves to trip locations to promote physical distancing.

Additionally, Recreation Services will continue creating and offering virtual options.


Equipment and other services

The plan states equipment must be spaced to accommodate physical distancing Facility layouts may be modified, use of equipment may be limited, and additional rooms and locations may be used to space equipment appropriately where possible. 

Those who use equipment will be required to clean and disinfect it after each use.

Checking out communal equipment will be limited to equipment that is easy to clean and sanitize efficiently and effectively, the plan states. Additionally, people will be encouraged to bring their own equipment such as basketballs and racquets.

Outdoor Pursuits Rental Center hours may vary. A 72-96 hour holding period between rental returns will be implemented for all equipment that cannot be easily cleaned and disinfected. This holding period may be reduced or increased based on guidance regarding environmental health and safety. 

Beginning July 6, locker rooms and lockers will be made available. However, towel and laundry services will be suspended until further notice. People must bring their own towels, come dressed to workout and are encouraged to bring their own water bottles to their workouts.

The plan states guest passes will not be available until further notice.


Co-curricular activities

Physical contact will be permitted according to this schedule:

  • Informal recreation: July 6
  • Sport clubs: Aug. 24
  • Intramural sports: Sept. 7

The plan acknowledges sport clubs and intramural sports present challenges when it comes to physical distancing and minimizations of groups, particularly with contact sports. It states university guidelines will apply to all these sports and special considerations will apply to protect participants, staff safety officers and coaches as necessary.

Spectators for co-curricular activities will be asked or reminded via signage and/or announcements to physically distance and wear face masks.

Decisions about holding activities such as practices and events and under what conditions will be made on a case-by-case basis.


Other practices:

People are strongly encouraged to wear face masks when physical distancing cannot be reasonably maintained.

Recreation Services will maintain its normal cleaning and disinfecting schedules with heightened cleaning schedules for high-touch public equipment and areas. Additionally, consideration will be given to expanding crowd-sourced cleaning.

Signage regarding face masks, hygiene, and physical distancing will be posted and promoted. Appropriate signage will be posted at entrances and within buildings indicating pathways and positions for standing, waiting and other things where applicable.

A foaming hand sanitizer dispenser will be available upon entry to all buildings. Physical barriers such as sneeze guards and partitions will be placed at locations where frequent face-to-face interaction occurs.

Facilities may be closed at various times of the day to increase environmental cleaning and disinfection. Some facilities, like pools and the climbing wall,  may require sign-up times for various locations to ensure appropriate capacity limits.

All Recreation Services employees must wear face masks when physical distancing cannot be reasonably maintained.

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