After a nine-week closure, the Tucson Jewish Community Center announced plans this week to reopen its facility in early June. The J is following guidelines set forth by the federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the state of Arizona, as well as advice from a recently formed medical advisory committee.
The first phase of reopening includes summer camp and early childhood education, which will both resume in the building at 3800 E. River Road on Monday, June 1. Participants in these programs will practice social distancing, with much of the J’s facility being utilized to keep children in small, self-contained groups throughout the day.
Several fitness amenities will reopen in June as well. The J will offer access to the fitness center floor starting June 1, and lap swim will be available beginning on June 8. The Sarver Tennis Center, which saw construction completed during the closure, will be available for recreational play and private/small group lessons from June 1. All fitness facilities will require advance booking to help ensure a reduced capacity.
For now, all other areas of the J’s facility will remain closed, including locker rooms, group exercise classes, and the spa area.
“We are taking every precaution to ensure that we reopen safely and successfully to serve our community,” says Todd Rockoff, chief executive officer. “Members and staff are expected to complete a brief health questionnaire, wash their hands with soap and water, and have their temperature checked before entering the facility.” Masks also will be required at all times in any indoor spaces. Those experiencing illness or exhibiting any symptoms of COVID-19 are asked to stay home, and no one with a fever will be granted entry to the J.
Traffic flow will be different, too. Parents of students and campers will need to enter through the northwest entrance (off River and Dodge) and undergo a brief health screening before a staff member escorts the program participant into the building. Members coming to exercise will enter through the north entrance (off River) to complete the health check-in before their workout. Members using the fitness facilities will be directed through an alternative exit when they are finished to help cut down on two-way traffic.
The J will be operating on modified hours: Monday-Thursday, 6:30 a.m.-8:30 p.m.; Fridays, 6:30 a.m.-6 p.m.; and weekends, 7 a.m.-6 p.m. (north entrance only). Some programs, such as group exercise and Spanish lessons, will continue in their virtual format through the summer.
“As a board member and an active member of the medical community in Tucson I have been very proud of how the JCC has responded to the COVID-19 crisis,” says Steven Wool, M.D., FACP, a member of the J’s medical advisory committee. “The J has done the best job possible to respond to members’ needs and health and safety of our members, staff, and community as they have moved through this process to prepare for reopening.”