The Recreational Sports Facility, or RSF, closed Wednesday in accordance with an updated public health order from the city of Berkeley.
The RSF reopened for limited in-person operations Monday, only to be closed two days later as a result of the updated order, which came about in response to state restrictions halting the reopening of many activities in purple tier counties, or those with widespread COVID-19 risk. Restaurants, gyms, movie theaters and places of worship are no longer permitted to operate indoors under the new guidelines but may still continue services outdoors.
“Unfortunately, we were only able to resume limited in-person operations at the RSF for 2 days,” said campus spokesperson Adam Ratliff in an email. “We look forward to resuming and welcoming our community back when public health conditions allow.”
During the time it was open, the RSF had safety precautions in place, including hand sanitizer stations and face mask and social distancing requirements. Those permitted inside had to first show a completed CalCentral daily symptom screener, their Cal 1 Card and a green badge from the University Health Services eTang portal.
The brief reopening had garnered student interest. According to Ratliff, the RSF received more than 1,000 reservations from students in the past week.
“I don’t have a gym membership because gyms are pretty expensive, so I was really looking forward to being able to use the school’s facilities,” said campus junior Caleb Dixon. “Then, the day that I was trying to register, they put out an email saying they were closing again. Pretty disappointed, and I feel like I’m paying for something that I’m not even able to go inside.”
Spieker Pool and Golden Bear Pool are still open for lap reservations for campus students, faculty and staff, according to the Berkeley Recreational Sports website. In addition, the UC Aquatic Center is offering free kayak and stand-up paddleboard rentals to students and essential workers at the Berkeley Marina. Reservations for lap swimming or rentals can be made up to a week in advance.
The RSF also provides virtual fitness resources, including fitness consultations, on-demand guided classes and live class streams.
“I was actually really surprised when they announced it was supposed to open because COVID has been on an upwards trend recently, but wasn’t surprised when it closed,” said campus freshman Max Valasek in a direct message on Reddit. “(I) thought it was pretty funny that it was only 4 days after the announcement.”