QU student works out with dumbbells in the HFC

By Michele Barletta

Quincy University has implemented a number of guidelines and protocols on campus in order to fight the spread of COVID-19 within its campus community. The weight room is a place on campus that social distancing is not always possible, and hand hygiene isn’t everyone’s top priority. It’s no secret that gym’s are one of the places where the virus can be spread easily, as these were one of the first businesses to be closed down when stay at home orders and lockdowns were implemented.

QU has visible signage in the weight room to ensure students adhere to the protocols. Masks are required when social distancing cannot be maintained. Two areas in the weight room, the squat racks, and the free weights, have signs that indicate that a mask is required when working out there. This is due to the fact that social distancing cannot be maintained there.

Edrey Caceres is a student at QU who says he uses the weight room in the Health and Fitness Center (HFC) six or seven times per week. Caceres says there is sufficient signage in the weight room, however he feels it should stand out a little more so students don’t miss the message.

Caceres feels that students are adhering to QU’s guidelines and doing their best to keep healthy.

“I feel that everyone who goes to the HFC are following the rules and hygiene requirements,” Caceres said. “Every time we use a piece of equipment we have to use a wipe to wipe it down.”

Jay Hammel believes that the guidelines and protocols in place in the weight room are easy to adhere to based off the fact that the same is expected of students elsewhere on campus.

“I would say the guidelines have been communicated effectively considering we must follow pretty much the same ones wherever we go,” Hammel said.

Cole Hayes, a soccer player at QU, feels that using the weight room is important for student athletes as they look develop themselves and their performance. Hayes says that not everyone actually follows the guidelines in the weight room.

“There are people who don’t wear masks in the weight room, but it doesn’t really bother me unless they cough or sneeze,” Hayes said.

Like Hayes, Caceres says he often feels uncomfortable if someone in the weight room sneezes, coughs, or gets too close to him without wearing a mask.

Caceres, Hammel and Hayes all make use of the cardio machines and track in the HFC in addition to using the weight room. The same protocols and hygiene standards are expected of them when using that equipment.

“I also run on the treadmills and the track upstairs,” Hammel said. “The students and community members around me do a great job of following the health guidelines when working out.”

Hammel keeps his mask on until he walks into the weight room before taking it off, as recommended by QU. However, Caceres and Hayes take a more cautious approach.

“I wear my mask around my chin so that I can pull it up easily if I am too close to someone else,” Hayes said.

“Honestly, I do wear a mask in the weight room when I can’t practice social distance,” Caceres said.

Mask wearing, social distancing, and wiping down of equipment has become standardized in gym’s across the country. Students at QU face similar protocols in the weight room and all over campus.

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