COVID Forces Temporary JCC Fitness Center Closures

Once again, the Sabes and St. Paul JCCs are preparing to close their fitness centers and aquatic centers to comply with Gov. Tim Walz’s new order mandating that gyms, among other things, be closed for the next four weeks.

The order, which he announced Wednesday night, goes into effect Friday, Nov. 20, at 11:59 p.m., and runs through Dec. 18.

“The impact of Covid-19 is devastating for our members, our community, and our staff,” said JCCs CEO Michael Waldman. “While we are deeply concerned about how these closures will impact our JCCs, we strongly support the Governor and the belief that short-term closings will help slow the spread of coronavirus and keep our community safer and healthier.”

An e-mail was sent to the members of the JCCs Wednesday night.

The order won’t affect many of the services the JCCs provide, including the JCC Early Childhood Center and School-Aged Childcare, which will continue to operate.

“When the story is written about this hundred-year pandemic, there will be heroic stories about childcare providers who made sure so many of us had a place of safety, well-being, and growth,” to take children to, Walz said.

The JCCs will also continue to offer critically needed in-person supportive services and a wide range of virtual programming to the entire community through the Virtual JCC. In addition, virtual fitness programming will be available exclusively to JCC members.

The decision as to when and how to reopen will be based on recommendations from the Centers for Disease Control (CDC)Minnesota Department of Public Health, local health officials, and JCC leadership. The JCCs will be posting ongoing updates to the Sabes JCC and St. Paul JCC websites.

“The JCCs will weather this storm and return to normal operations as soon as possible – stronger than ever before – to remain the place where people welcome and take care of one another,” Waldman said.