A: Because that is the policy. Face coverings – over the nose and mouth, 100% of the time, by 100% of the members, throughout 100% of the space. This is the present requirement by the City for a facility such as ours to be open. Despite the fact no one is present, the equipment and fixtures other members will use is present, and of course the same air everyone is breathing is present at least for a little while as it circulates. 6′ away or more, no one present, whatever – face coverings at all times while in the space.
A: A membership was suspended due to this. But the member had received a warning for not returning the key card previously. Keeping that key card, prevents us from flexibly managing the capacity limits, and potentially prevents another member from using the facility despite that key card being in a Unit, not the Health Club.
Beyond that – let me be blunt, and answer this by putting it the way another member put it to me: “If you had to take the time to sit down and write out everything that should be common sense, you’d probably never stand back up.” Well, that’s a bit of an exaggeration, but there is truth there. There are hundreds – perhaps even thousands, of points and considerations we could legislate, but where would we stop. When we set out to publish reopening policies, our goal was to keep it simple, straightforward and easy to digest while at the same time covering all the points Chicago and Illinois were insisting upon for the facility to be open. BUT, we could probably write a 100 page document or more of other tid bits of info. But that would not be reasonable.
Let me make an example – using the face covering issue. OBVIOUSLY, you need to momentarily remove your face covering to drink water. With safe social distancing, momentary removal is allowed. ALSO, for use of the pool, you need to remove your face covering, to get in the pool. HENCE, why the posted capacity per code is 74. However, at present, the temporary limitation for the pool area is 10, and 4 in the pool. No one should expect to have to swim with a face covering on.
Another example…we could give pages of instructions on washing hands, proper sanitization and such. That is on each and every individual to educate themselves on. There are plenty of other resources for that. It does not need to be a policy, or something within the Rules and Regulations.
And believe it or not, we even had to address proper swim attire in the past, after receiving complaints of a member’s trunks being far too risque! The argument to us was, “this is proper swim attire…”. And yes, technically they were. They were also excessively transparent when wet. Should we have a policy that says your swim attire not be ‘see through’ when wet, or exact measurements for minimum sizes of swim attire, etc…?
A bit off the topic of Key Cards, but to help make the point. Some would argue these are points of common sense, and again there are probably hundreds to thousands of such topics. Our goal with reopening was to keep the new policies refined to the critical and necessary details, particularly since we were requiring the “HOLD HARMLESS” forms be signed.
However, at any time you have any questions about the facility, feedback about the reopening policies, or if you feel something is not quite right about how we’ve spelled things out, write me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
As of today, 5 memberships have now been suspended due to reopening policy violations. Four (4) for face covering violations, and one (1) for a key card not being returned immediately following use.
See the latest regarding our COVID-19 response efforts: Click Here
In both cases, Management has suspended these memberships. Hearings with the Rules Commission have been scheduled, and the Board will decide whether to issue a fine or permanently revoke their memberships. Refunds or extensions will neither be issued for the time period of suspension, nor if the memberships are revoked.
The important thing to remember, is to make this work 100% of us must be following the set policies, 100% of the time, throughout 100% of the facility.
ALSO – most of us have probably seen the media reports. Due to the past couple weeks of increases in the number of confirmed infections, the City and State are prepared to roll back reopening. We will be watching that closely, but if gyms are required to close again, our facility will be shut down.
Despite the challenges and how complicated getting to this point was, overall our initial assessment is things are going well. Perhaps most importantly our team has been able to keep up with the goals we set for cleaning and sanitizing, and by all reports most members are being responsible and following the policies set by our team and the Health Club Commission.
We have some good questions and answers to share:
Q: Why No Time Limits?
A: This was debated, and in the end it was decided to observe the first week and analyze whether there would be capacity concerns warranting time limits. This question has come from several members as well, and it is still a possibility. So far though, there has been little indication that we are experiencing such concerns.
We did have one member who took a Key Card home after going for a swim. After unsuccessfully attempting to contact the owner and retrieve the card several hours later, a written warning that the Membership was being suspended prompted an almost immediate return of the card.
Q: Do Children Need An ID For Their Key Card? AND Do They Need To Sign The Hold Harmless?
A: No and no. Only adult members need to present an ID, and only adults can sign a Hold Harmless. Pursuant to the membership agreements, from their parents and guardians are responsible for children.
Q:My Grandchildren Are Coming Into Town, And We Would Like To Take Them To The Pool, But They Are Not Members. Can they join us? Are our old guest tickets still good?
A: Not at this time. No guests allowed, not even family members. Members only. The goal with reopening, was to focus on getting the facility running safely and securely FIRST, and to do that capacity needs to be limited for the time being. The presence of guests would reduce the number of paying members who can use the space. So for now, members only.
REGARDING GUEST TICKETS, yes hold on to them. At some point we should be able to increase capacity and allow for guests. There is no idea when that will be, but it should be a goal at some point.
Q: Why Is The Jacuzzi And Sauna Closed?
A: It’s the law right now in the City of Chicago – the amended order prohibits their use.
Q: Why Only Two Chairs In The Pool Area?
A: First, the capacity limits seating to two people. We are working on getting more tables for members to lay their stuff on, but for now we can not have more seats than our posted capacity.
Furthermore, and perhaps more importantly, we want to promote a reasonable turn over. While many of us like to finish our swimming with some lounging, all members need to be cognizant of the capacity limitations and that we want the pool to be available for all members who want to use it safely and securely. So, finish your swim and move along. 🙂
Q: I Signed The Hold Harmless, But Came Back The Next Day And Had To Sign Another One?
A: Our apologies. If this happens to you, it was not intended. We have about 320 memberships and 500 members. Our staff is trying to get this right and if they missed you, we are sorry for the inconvenience. But, we do have to be better safe than sorry.
Q: I Am A Member, But I Was Not On The List, And The Staff Would Not Issue Me A Key Card.
A: If our staff can not identify you on our membership list, a Key Card should not be issued. I am aware of two cases of this happening; in one, the member was from a neighboring building, and the staff was reading the list in error. In the other case, this person WAS NOT a member. If you believe you should have a current membership but you are not on the list, you will need to contact the office team so we can straighten it out.
Q: Why Can Only Every Other Machine Or Piece Of Equipment Be Used In the Weight And Cardio Rooms?
A: This policy if for forced Social Distancing. We can not separate the equipment further apart, so we need to consciously use the space in a manner that is essentially built in distancing between users.
Q: I Just Don’t Feel Comfortable Using The Space Right Now. Can My Extension Be Deferred, Or Can I Get A Refund?
A: Not at this time, but we do have a handful of members with these questions and Management will be consulting with the PT Board of Directors. They already approved the extensions, so that is all we are authorized to do at this time.
Do you have questions? Please share them at email@example.com.
As the facts and guidance evolve with the pandemic and any government policy changes, so too may the realities with which help define how the space is governed and maintained. So be prepared for sudden and potentially unexpected changes in the future. But with any such action, keep in mind this is for your protection, our protection, the Association’s protection, and the staff who are responsible to maintain the space in the face of the pandemic in order to make a living.
After Monday, and so long as we are able, the Health Club will be open every day from 5am to 11pm.
And please, have patience with our Board, staff and Management. We have little direct control over such a challenging and complicated situation. So we thank you in advance for your understanding, and apologize in advance for any frustrations or inconveniences as we try to bring our facility back on line as effectively, efficiently and safely as possible. WE FULLY EXPECT, the policies and procedures we’ve devised will evolve due to our experiences as we reopen and the world around us which is evolving due to the Pandemic. So, be prepared to evolve with it.
Current members – be advised we’ve added 112 days to your membership, representing the 112 days since the facility closed through July 6th. If your membership expired since that time, the requisite number of days have been added. If you suspect any problems or errors – bring them to our attention, and have patience, we will address any anomalies as quickly as we can.
With all that in mind, there are new Rules and Regulations in place which everyone must agree to and follow should you wish to start or continue using your membership and the facility. And to do so, the attached “hold harmless agreement” (Health Club Use Agrmt 07.2020 will need to be signed and completed, before anyone can enter or use the Health Club. The new policies are considered incorporated into all present membership agreements. They are available on page 2 of the hold harmless agreement, however for your convenience they follow below:
PTCA Health Club Reopening Policies July 6, 2020
All Locations Throughout
– Face coverings are mandatory at all times, in all common areas and the Health Club.
-Know how COVID-19 spreads – knowledge is protection! Get the facts at:
– To enter the Health Club, Key Cards are signed out one at a time based on the capacity for each
space, from the front desk, in return for a government issued picture ID. The ID will be returned
when the Key Card is returned to the front desk. We recommend you call ahead, to 773-769-3083, to
confirm availability of a Key Card for the space you want to use.
– Members enter the facility, and make use of the space, fixtures, furniture, pool, locker rooms and
equipment at their own risk. A hold harmless agreement must be signed by all members prior to
resuming use of the Health Club. The form is at the lobby Front Desk or at www.ptcondo.com.
– Only one person may enter each space per Key Card. The Key Card will allow you to enter, and
signify to our staff your permission to enter.
– No guests are allowed, including family, roommates and personal trainers.
– Take your time and use extra caution entering, exiting, and moving about the space, maintaining
6′ (six feet) distance from other members not of your household.
– Members should come prepared with their own sanitizer and wipes, for personal use and
– All other general membership rules shall be observed at all times.
– Violation of any policy or rule will result in membership suspension until such time as a hearing
with the PTCA Rules Commission can be held and the Board of Directors decides upon a final
Cardio & Weight Room
– No more than 6 people may occupy the space. If you enter and 6 or more individuals are present,
please report back to the Front Desk for assistance. DO NOT ENTER and DO NOT USE THE SPACE.
– Do not use a machine or equipment immediately next to a machine already in use. Only every
other station may be occupied. The staff will deactivate every other cardio machine and rotate them
weekly. Members may not plug them in. If a machine or piece of equipment you want is in use,
please wait patiently.
Pool Area and Sundeck
– No more than 10 people may occupy the space. If you enter and 10 or more individuals are
present, please report back to the Front Desk for assistance. DO NOT ENTER and DO NOT USE THE
– No more than 4 people may be using the Pool at one time, leaving one lane between each
swimmer. No more than 2 people may be seated in the pool area. No more than 2 people may be in
the Kiddie Pool at one time. No more than 2 people may be seated on the Sundeck at one time.
Sunbathing and other activities are not permitted at this time.
– Use of the Jacuzzi is prohibited at this time.
– No more than 2 people may occupy the space. If you enter and 2 or more
individuals are present, please wait outside patiently. DO NOT ENTER and DO NOT USE THE SPACE. If
others are waiting, please keep 6′ (six feet) of space between each other.
– Use of the Sauna is prohibited at this time.
Please contact me with any questions, at firstname.lastname@example.org.