DEARBORN – With strict public health measures in place, the Ford Community & Performing Arts Center is preparing to re-open its fitness areas and indoor pool to the public soon. It is shooting for Sept. 14, but all plans are tentative.
Gov. Gretchen Whitmer on Sept. 3 issued an executive order allowing gyms, pools and ice arenas to open with restrictions. As soon as the Recreation Department can safely open the center, an announcement confirming the Sept. 14 date will be made.
Staff needs to be brought back and trained. Equipment unused for six months, as well as the systems associated with the swimming pool, need to be reviewed and operational. All safety protocols need to be understood and in place.
“We are excited to be re-opening, and are committed to make sure our patrons’ experience is a safe and healthy one,” Recreation and Parks Director Greg Orner said. “We hope to welcome people back as early as Monday, September 14 after we make sure that the six-month closure did not compromise any of our operational systems.”
Center hours will be 5:30 a.m. to 9 p.m. on weekdays, 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. on Saturday, and 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. on Sunday.
Patrons must follow several vital public health guidelines while visiting the center. Most important of these public health measures will be a strict enforcement of the state-mandated mask requirement. This means that visitors must wear a mask at all times while inside the center, even while exercising. Masks may only be removed while swimming in the lap pool.
In addition, visitors will have their temperatures taken prior to entry, and must give contact information when they arrive.
All equipment in the center will be protected with a 90-day disinfectant and cleaned regularly. In addition, visitors will be advised to wipe off their machines and weights before and after each use. Hand sanitizer will also be available.
To accommodate social distancing, group exercise classes will be held in the Ballroom, spinning classes will be in Studio A, and a large number of pieces of cardio equipment have been moved into the gym. The gym will be unavailable for basketball.
Locker rooms and showers will be opened at a reduced capacity and will be marked off to maintain social distancing as needed.
The lap pool will be open for laps only; no open swimming will be permitted. Pool capacity is restricted to 25 percent of normal operating capacity, which will be monitored and enforced. The leisure pool will not be open.
The opening of the fitness and pool facilities follows the state of Michigan’s announcement that gyms and indoor pools across the state may re-open as long as strict public health guidelines are followed. The rules are:
• Enforce a mask mandate for all activities except swimming.
• Try to provide the option of exercising outside.
• Maintain records showing the date and time when customers enter and leave, while collecting the names and contact information of customers. Facilities need to deny entry to anyone who does not give their name and phone number.
• Only operate at 25 percent capacity.
• Orient equipment and barriers to maximize social distancing, ensuring 6 feet of distance between people exercising.
• Offer smaller classes to ensure 6 feet of separation between individuals.
• Offer cleaning supplies for the equipment.
• Provide hand sanitizer, disinfecting wipes, soap and water and similar products.
• Regularly disinfect exercise equipment, especially right after use. Gyms can require customers to do this, but they must post signs encouraging disinfecting the equipment.
• Make sure the ventilation systems works well.
• Open windows and doors, use fans and do anything else that facilitates air circulation.
• Close steam rooms, saunas, jacuzzis, and similar sites.
• Post signs on doors telling customers not to enter if they are sick or recently felt sick.
For more information about recreational facilities, including information about the Dearborn Indoor Skating Center also re-opening, call the Recreation Department service desk at 313-943-2350.