Choice Health and Fitness and the YMCA are set to reopen on May 18.

The reopenings follow on the heels of Gov. Doug Burgum’s “smart restart” guidelines allowing previously closed business to reopen, though on a limited basis. The facilities will operate at reduced capacity in order to keep traffic down and comply with state guidelines.

Choice Health and Fitness will be open to members only and will not offer guest passes. The YMCA will screen members as they enter, including “touch free” temperature checks and a brief survey. The YMCA is also recommending staff and members wear masks in group areas.

“While we are excited to reopen Choice Health and Fitness on May 18, we are being cautious to provide a safe environment for our customers and employees,” said Mike Orr, general manager of the center. “Reopening the facility under the N.D. smart restart guidelines for fitness centers requires many changes to our policies and procedures.”

Under the guidelines, classes for large groups, such as basketball, will be closed, along with pools and steam rooms, cycling and locker rooms, and other areas where people gather in larger numbers.

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Choice has a few programs to offer in fitness areas, where members can use free weights and do cardio exercises. Group training classes will be allowed, but are limited to about five members per class, in order for people to maintain social distance. The same goes for youth athletic development classes.

Much is the same at the YMCA, though the racquetball courts will be open and full-time child care will be available as well.

“Our overall goal is to be smart about reopening,” said Jill Nelson, spokesperson for the Grand Forks Park District. “We will be strongly encouraging our members to be actively involved in the safety procedures we are implementing. The safety and health of our community is our top priority.”

In pursuit of that goal at Choice Health and Fitness, children younger than 8 will not be permitted into the building, and kids aged 11 to 14 need to be supervised by a parent.

One welcome piece of news is members at Choice won’t be billed for the months of April and May, and membership credits and extensions may be available. The YMCA has expanded its scholarship options for members who may have lost their jobs due to the pandemic. Members should contact the facilities for billing information. Regular billing at both facilities will begin on June 1.

Choice and the YMCA will be open from Monday through Saturday, though the hours of operation will be changed to allow staff to clean and disinfect the fitness centers. Information about schedules, and what classes and areas are available can be found at the websites and Facebook pages of both facilities.