The outside of the Walter J. Hawrys Campus Recreation Center on Jan. 26, 2020. The center reopened partially on Sep. 4 after closing its doors in March. RABIA GURSOY/STATESMAN FILE

The Campus Recreation Center entered phase one of its reopening plan on Sep. 4, almost six months after its initial closing in late March due to COVID-19. 

The center will undergo two reopening phases that limit student capacity. Phase one includes opening the recreation room, cardio area and craft/board game room. Phase two will reopen the free weight area, indoor fitness classes and gymnasium. 

The recreation center is waiting for a second Department of Health inspection to begin phase two reopening, according to Interim Director of Recreation and Wellness Marie Turchiano. She estimates around a two-week wait before phase 2 can begin. 

“We’re open,” Turchiano said. “And we’re taking every precaution to stay open.”

Students can reserve a spot online for one of eight 75-minute workout appointment times. After each time slot, the recreation center will close for 45 minutes in order to sanitize all equipment. Before entering the building, students must also complete the daily self-screening check through the Campus Clear app. 

The recreation center will allow 50 people in the building at a time, with each room at 33% capacity. Water fountains may only be used for bottle-filling. Six-feet social distancing and face masks will be required and enforced. 

The center will remain open throughout the semester unless there is a large rise of COVID cases on campus, in which case the university president or government officials make the final call, Turchiano said.

Governor Cuomo allowed gyms to reopen on Aug. 24, after they had passed local government inspection. 

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“Gyms are one of the areas where you have to be very careful,” Cuomo said. “If it’s not done right, it can be a problem and we’ve seen that…Compliance is what I am concerned about.”

Currently, 20 students, which may include false positives, have tested positive for COVID-19 on campus, according to the university’s COVID-19 dashboard. 86 students are in quarantine and isolation rooms. 

In the most recent Coming Back Safe and Strong update, Stony Brook released a video that explains contact tracing. It also promoted a Library Resources and Services FAQ, detailing the online book checkout and renewal process, and how to contact librarians for research help.

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