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New protocols in place when H-F Racquet Club reopens Monday

The Homewood-Flossmoor Park District Racquet & Fitness Center will reopen to members Monday, June 29, with COVID-19 restrictions in place.

Under Restore Illinois Phase 4 guidelines, health clubs are allowed to offer services again with a 10-foot distance between participants during workouts. The racquet club will be open to a limited number of members on a new schedule: 6 a.m. to 7 p.m. Monday through Thursday and 6 a.m. to 1 p.m. Friday through Sunday.

Debbie Kopas, park district executive director, said, “We would like everyone to do a wellness screening before they come to the club. Answer the questions on whether they’ve had a fever, chills, cough, sore throat. We’re asking everyone to ask themselves those questions.”

Club memberships have been suspended since mid-March. They are being reactivated July 1, even though the club will be open two days before that date.

She said staff and members will be required to wear masks and maintain 6-foot physical distancing. Workout restrictions are 10-foot distancing.

Bathrooms will be open, but lockers will be closed. There will be no towel service. The Kids Court will be closed. All the seating in the lobby and lounge has been removed so that people don’t linger, she said.

“Members should come dressed for whatever activity they’ll take part in, and bring their own water bottles,” she noted.

The pool will be open for laps and exercise classes, although the number of participants will be limited due to the mandated physical distancing of 10 feet.

To accommodate this 10-foot distance rule, several fitness machines will be out of service. If people can maintain a 10-foot distance when they’re either working out or playing tennis they can take their masks off. Otherwise, everyone is expected to wear masks, Kopas said.

Spin classes are being moved onto the tennis courts to give more space.

Tennis courts will be open for singles and doubles play. The racquetball court will be limited to one-on-one play.

Kopas said the park district will continue to offer outdoor fitness classes on the parking lot area of the club at 2920 W. 183rd St. in Homewood. Some indoor classes will be offered, but they will be smaller than normal because of the capacity/spacing limitations.

Members swipe a badge when they enter. Kopas said those records will be used for contact tracing in the event someone having been to the club later reports COVID-19 symptoms.

“We’re going to monitor the activities on a regular basis and see what we need to change and be ready to change or adapt the guidelines. We want to be as fluid as we can to meet needs as much as possible,” she said.

“We need to be really hyper-vigilant. I’ve been studying the national statistics on the states that have reopened and the numbers are frightening. It’s going to be imperative that people don’t get lax and not become complacent,” she stressed. 

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