Baltimore, MD - Sept. 11, 2020 - If you are like most people I’ve spoken to, they’ve been watching their weight during COVID…watching it go up, that is! The Weinberg Park Heights JCC’s recently reopened Fitness Center may be just the answer for your personal battle of the bulge - or to stay in shape. Its former fitness space has been reconfigured and split into two comparably-sized separate-gender fitness rooms. What better timing for these changes, especially since Curves and Lynne Bricks have recently closed!
The Weinberg JCC employs staff that are sensitive to the needs of the orthodox community and is always looking for new ways to expand their services to satisfy the needs of observant members. In addition to being closed on Shabbos and Yomim Tovim, it is one of only a few JCCs in the country to offer separate men’s and women’s schedules in its fitness and aquatics departments. Prior to COVID, our community’s requests for further adaptions to meet our needs were voiced; they, obviously, were heard. Just last year, with the help of The Associated, they made significant investments in the Park Heights building including a major indoor pool upgrade.
The Fitness Center is open Sundays through Fridays for strength and cardio workouts and personal training. The all-male and all-female sections are open all hours, rather than specific designated hours as they were pre-COVID. There are 20 spots available for men and 20 spots available for women for each 75-minute workout time. The spots are for current members and by reservation only (unfortunately, no guests are allowed at this time). Park Heights Fitness Center hours of operation are: Monday-Thursday: 7:15 am-1:45 pm and 3:15 pm-8:00 pm; Friday: 7:15 am-1:45 pm; and Sunday: 7:00 am-3:15pm.
The separate entrances are clearly marked by cutesy cardboard cutouts of JCC’s actual male and female fitness staff; no longer must one walk through a co-ed space to get to one side or the other. The Owings Mills fitness center, however, continues to exclusively offer co-ed fitness.
The JCC Indoor Pool re-opened on September 8 with alternate morning and afternoon swim times for male and female only sessions. The pool hours, which are by reservation only, are from 7:15am to 1:00pm and 2:15-8:00pm Monday-Thursday, Fridays 7:15-10:00am and 10:30-1:15pm, Sundays 7:00-10:45am and 11:15am-3:00pm. There will be four lanes available during each session and each member will have their own lane for 45 minutes.
New Safety Precautions
“The decision to reopen the fitness center was taken after the Office of the Mayor gave the green light for health clubs and fitness centers to begin reopening,” notes Senior Building and Operations Director David Mitnick. “With our members’ safety remaining our top priority, all our protocols and procedures reflect the latest CDC guidelines, regulations from the Maryland Department of Health, Baltimore City, and real-time advice from our medical partner, LifeBridge Health.”
To enter the JCC members will need to register in advance online and submit to a health screening when they arrive. In addition to limiting the number of people in the fitness center, the JCC has spaced out the equipment to make social distancing while exercising easier. Hands-free sinks and contactless paper towel dispensers have been added to bathrooms as well. The building has gone through a major cleaning, and the staff is equipped with new advanced cleaning supplies they have been trained to use. Workout time slots are interspersed with deep cleaning of the fitness and aquatics spaces. The building air filtration system was also recently upgraded to Merv 13. Masks must be worn indoors at all times on the campus, except when actively engaging in vigorous exercise.
Additionally, both JCC campuses have adopted an out-of-state travel policy as part of their current health screening process. Any member who has traveled to a state identified as having a positivity rate higher than 10% and identified as a “hot spot” by the State of Maryland should quarantine for 14 days before returning to the JCC.
The locker room changing areas and bathrooms are available, and the showers will be open to swimmers only. The steam room is closed.
Numerous group fitness classes are currently available in the J’s larger studios and outdoor classes for evening workouts are now offered on the Rooftop Court. The JCC is looking at opening the Gymnasium, Racquetball Courts and Table Tennis activities in October if they are deemed safe to reopen at the time.
“We’re in the heart of the Jewish community,” concludes Mr. Mitnick. “It’s called the community center for a reason. People see us as that home away from home. And the ability to provide services is so important to us. We want to be here for our members in a safe and appropriate way.”
The JCC is waiving all joining and registration fees thru 12/31/20. Interested in a 3-day trial to make sure you are comfortable? Contact email@example.com or call 410.500.5910 before October 16 for details.
To check out monthly membership options, visit: jcc.org/join
To reserve a slot at the fitness center, visit: jcc.org/schedule or call 410-500-5900.
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