La Crosse Gyms Won’t Change Safety Precautions After New Year’s Membership Spike

A new year is approaching and with a new year come new goals. One of the most common goals is to train.

“At the start of the New Year, we expect and often see many new members joining the Y,” said Travis Pernsteiner, Director of Marketing at the YMCA.

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 to become a member, the YMCA has no plans to change its COVID security guidelines.

“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 says he feels safe with current precautions.

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

The YMCA says that with its new 24-hour membership option, affected people can enter when it’s less crowded.

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

The CDC suggests that gyms turn off all other equipment to encourage people to distance themselves socially.

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Susan W. Lloyd