UNO’s Wellness Center open with new COVID-19 procedures


Ashly Willis

The Wellness Center reopened at the beginning of July with new COVID-19 procedures. Photo courtesy of UNO Communications.

Our bodies have been through a lot since we have been cooped up for the past few months. You might have put on a few pounds due to sitting around and/or eating junk food in quarantine. Many of us are probably wondering when we can get a chance to blow off some steam again.

A track to better health is not too far out of reach anymore as UNO’s Health and Kinesiology (H&K) building reopened on July 6 with new COVID-19 procedures. 

It was announced that the Wellness Center would be reopening to welcome students and the Omaha community back to their life of fun and fitness earlier this summer. The campus recreation website is updated with the latest changes. 

One of the changes students and the community can expect as part of new campus recreation policy for the 2020-2021 school year are modified building hours

The following areas are unavailable: basketball, racquetball courts and squash courts, showers, spa/hot tubs, locker rooms, outdoor field rentals and multipurpose rooms. It is not yet known when these areas will be reopened.

UNO Health and Kinesiology stated in an email they believe by closing off some of the outdoor spaces used on a daily bases will only help the efforts in reducing the spread of COVID-19. 

Another necessary change is increased cleanliness procedures for the areas that do remain open like the workout rooms, climbing wall and pool.

William “Mike” Kult, associate director of Campus Recreation, said that there has been an increase in cleanliness procedures as well as efforts to keep proper social-distancing for the open parts of the building and many restrictions have also been put in place indoors.

“Before the building was reopened, the entire building was given a deep-cleaning.  We taught staff how to properly clean the used equipment and spaces every two hours,” said Kult. 

While some areas remained closed or limited due to social distancing, Kult does not want people to worry they won’t get their daily workout in. Kult said that many areas of the building still remain open, including a very small number of workout rooms, which can be reserved here.

Reservations will begin on every even hour for the workout rooms, and can be booked up to 3 days in advance, areas such as the pool and climbing wall will not be utilizing a reservation system. 

“Areas like the pool and climbing wall that remain open, will have the large sectional furniture removed, the tables and chairs will be appropriately spaced out following the 6-foot guideline, and either moved, removed, or placed out of service on some of the weight room equipment,” said Kult.

“Appropriate face masks must be worn when entering the H&K facility, in non-workout areas, and when traveling to and from workout areas,” according to the Campus Recreation website.

Health is the #1 priority and by following these new procedures the staff hopes it will  continue to make working-out fun for all students and visitors in the upcoming school year, even if it does look a little different.