La Crosse Gyms To Maintain COVID Safety Precautions After Expected Membership Rise In New Year

LA CROSSE (WKBT) – A new year is approaching with new goals. One of the most common is training.

“As the New Year begins, we expect to see a lot of new members joining the Y,” said Travis Pernsteiner, Marketing Director of the YMCA of La Crosse.

YMCA member Ben Hanson says his New Years resolution is to train for a 5k.

“Trying to get on the treadmills here at the Y and try to be able to train for that in the spring,” said Hanson.

Hanson was working at home when COVID started.

“And then I slowly made the transition to the gym,” Hanson said.

But as more people are signing up, the YMCA has no plans to change its COVID safety guidelines at its Dahl Family YMCA in La Crosse or its RW Houser Family YMCA in Onalaska.

“The staff at our wellness center continually clean the equipment and encourage people to get away from each other,” Pernsteiner said.

Social distancing is not enforced at the YMCA, and masks will also remain optional.

“Our staff is needed and our members are encouraged,” Pernsteiner said.

Despite the increase in Omicron cases in Wisconsin, Hanson said he felt safe with current precautions.

“They still have the sanitizer buckets here at the Y, which is really good,” said Hanson.

The YMCA said its new 24-hour membership option will allow those affected to come when it’s less crowded.

“And they can choose to enter at off-peak and lower hours when they have more room for them,” Pernsteiner said.

The CDC recommends turning off all other equipment to encourage people to distance themselves.

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Susan W. Lloyd