Fitness center to reopen, status of spring sports still up in the air

The inside of the Steve Tisch Sports and Fitness Center is pictured on Sept. 23, 2020. Ann Marie Burke / The Tufts Daily

In an email with the subject line “Easing some COVID restrictions on campus,” Tufts University Infection Control Health Director Michael Jordan announced that the Steve Tisch Sports and Fitness Center will reopen, while also noting that varsity team practices and games, as well as club and intramural sports, will remain on pause. 

The email indicated that the changes were made due to declining COVID-19 rates on Tufts campuses and in Massachusetts. 

As of Feb. 18, the fitness center is open Monday through Friday from 7 a.m. to 9:45 p.m., Saturday from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. and Sunday from 8 a.m. to 9:45 p.m. Similar to last semester, students will need to make reservations to use the fitness center. Students can make up to three reservations per week, but only one per day. Each reservation lasts just 45 minutes and is for only one machine, constraining students’ ability to get in a legitimate workout. 

As part of the easing of restrictions, the Hamilton Pool will also be open for reservations throughout the week. The Gantcher Center, Cousens Gymnasium, Chase Gym and the squash center will remain closed for recreational use.

The announcement keeps spring sport varsity athletes in a state of limbo, not knowing whether or not they will have a season. 

The last NESCAC update came in a joint statement by the 11 schools’ presidents in late January. The letter stated: “We recognize how important athletic competition is to many of our students and to our communities, and we understand the dismay many will feel at the possibility that spring conference competition might be canceled two years in a row. The Presidents will take this into consideration when making a final decision in late February or early March.”

Most Div. I sports and some Div. III sports have resumed with COVID-19 precautions in place, although the Ivy League announced last week that they will cancel their spring sports season.