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Coronavirus

Joliet Park District loosens reservation system at Inwood Athletic Center

Park district contiunes to adjust to COVID-19

Inwood Athletic Club can be seen on Monday, March 16, 2020, in Joliet, Ill.
Inwood Athletic Club can be seen on Monday, March 16, 2020, in Joliet, Ill.

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The schedule at the Inwood Athletic Center is being loosened up in another adjustment to running parks and recreation in Joliet during the COVID-19 pandemic.

The Joliet Park District has continued running programs, including kids' camps in the summer and early learning classes now, with reduced numbers under limitations put in place to avoid virus spread, Executive Director Brad Staab said.

The Inwood Athletic Center will continue to run under a reservation system but with more flexible hours than what was put in place June 29 when the facility was allowed to reopen after being closed for more than two months.

"We heard from some members that it was very hard to make the reservations and plan their day," Staab said.

Inwood has been operating for 1.5-hour periods before being closed for a half-hour for cleaning. Members would schedule their arrival during that 1.5-hour period.

Starting Monday, the fitness center will be open for four-hour periods before being closed for half-hour cleanings.

"We just made the reservation window bigger," Staab said.

The reservation system is still needed, he said, so the park district can limit the number of people inside the fitness center, keep track of who is there in case contact tracing is needed, and close throughout the day for cleanings.

The park district, like other government agencies, businesses and nonprofits, has had to adjust to activity under pandemic limitations.

Staab noted summer camp did take place but with social distancing and other restrictions.

Early learning classes are being done with e-learning, but working parents still have the option of dropping off children at the Kathy Green Multi-Purpose Center, which has been set up with WiFi, while children can also participate from home.

"A lot of the programs we were still able to have, but we just had to follow limits," Staab said.

The suspension of high school and college football for the fall has limited use of Memorial Stadium but not stopped it altogether.

"We are hosting flag football right now," Staab said. That's allowed."

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