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Power Fitness, city pool and rec reopens

Jason Berghorst

Minnesota Governor Tim Walz announced Friday that indoor recreation and fitness centers could reopen with limited capacity and other safety requirements June 10.
Power Fitness in downtown Luverne and the Luverne Area Aquatics and Fitness Center were ready for the news.
Both facilities had been closed by state executive orders to reduce the spread of the coronavirus since mid-March.
According to Michelle DeKam, assistant supervisor for the Aquatics and Fitness Center, the facilities are able to open with 25 percent capacity.
“For us, that means open swim can have 56 people, one weight room can have six, the other can have only three and the cardio room can have six people,” DeKam said.
Power Fitness owner Brian Beuning said the expansive size of his facility allows the business to easily meet capacity requirements.
“Power Fitness has three fitness levels of approximately 7,000 square feet of usable fitness area,” he said. “This will allow approximately 50 people to use the facility at any given time.”
Beuning said that number is higher than the number of members who normally use the facility at any one time.
“Power Fitness is not concerned about these occupancy mandates,” he said.
According to DeKam, cleaning and disinfecting will be a primary goal for the facility.
“People wonder why we can’t just be in the water, but it’s really about everything that’s touched,” DeKam said.
“The hand railings, the deck, everything gets touched and needs to be cleaned. We also have to be concerned about keeping the swimmers six feet apart on the deck.”
The extra cleaning and supervision will require more staff at the pool and fitness center at any given time, even with the reduced occupancy.
DeKam said swimming lesson plans have also changed this summer.
“We will have no parent/child, preschool, or level one lessons,” she said. “There’s just too much contact between instructors and students at those levels.”
Parents will also not be allowed in the facility during lessons.
“We’ll meet the kids at the door, their suits should be on, and then we’ll bring them to the cars when done,”  DeKam said.
She also said there will be no lessons for swimmers coming on buses from neighboring towns this summer.
“We just won’t have the space because of social distancing requirements,” DeKam said.
Hours for the LAAFC will vary in June as the facility re-evaluates needs.
“We’ve talked to facility directors from Iowa and South Dakota and they tell us there wasn’t the rush of people that might be expected when they first opened,” DeKam said.
Instead, she and facility manager Sam Honerman and the rest of the staff are looking forward to a gradual return of customers.
“At this point, we don’t plan to require pre-registrations to deal with occupancy requirements but can add that if needed,” DeKam said.

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