Minnesota JCC Readying To Reopen Next Week

After more than 15 months of operating at a reduced capacity, the Minnesota JCC is preparing to reopen, but the two centers will be doing so in different ways starting on June 11.

In a recent letter to members, COO Danya Kornblum said that a plan was being developed based on CDC and Minnesota Department of Health guidelines.

“Once we understood the updated guidance, we developed a road map to begin resuming ‘normal’ operations,” Kornblum said. “Based on our assessment and the tasks we identified to complete, it was evident that June 11 was the appropriate date.”

The fitness center at the Capp Center St. Paul will be reopening in full: Locker rooms with Steam, Sauna, and Towel Service, the gymnasium for open, recreational use; the aquatics center including the water slide and splash pad, J-Care, and the walking track.

At the Sabes Center Minneapolis, the indoor pool will require reservations from June 11-July 1, and the steam room, sauna, and whirlpool will not be reopening until July 1. The outdoor pool opened — without reservations — on Memorial Day weekend.

“The two facilities involve different requirements in order to reopen to the public,” Kornblum said. “Our facilities team is hard at work, and if we are able to reopen prior to July 1 in Minneapolis, we certainly will.”

There will continue to be virtual class offerings and reservations need to be made for in-person classes. Check the respective buildings’ websites for more information.

Also beginning June 11, masks will not need to be worn by vaccinated members, staff, or guests — a policy that follows CDC guidelines that full vaccinated people can resume activities without wearing a mask or physically distancing. However, common spaces at the Barry Family Campus where the Sabes Center is located, still have a rule about masks being worn.

Anyone who has not been vaccinated must wear a mask at all times. 

“We are relying on you and the honor system to implement this policy successfully,” Kornblum wrote. “Should we learn of members or staff who do not comply, we reserve the right to enforce consequences, including permanent suspension of your JCC membership”

The idea of the honor system is important in a successful reopening.

“We continue to ask anyone who wishes to enter the building to self-screen and not enter if they are ill or have been exposed to someone with COVID,” Kornblum said. “This has been the practice since last summer.

“The feedback has generally been quite positive. We want to be clear that while we are loosening the restrictions we’ve had in place for the last year, we continue to be committed to a thoughtful and cautious approach – masks are required for individuals who are not fully vaccinated. We continue to look to JCC members to be our partners in this next phase.”