Open Rec COVID-19 Guidelines

Guidelines Expected of Participants During the COVID-19 Period 

Reopening Date September 11, 2020

Reopening Guidelines Template Provided by the State of South Carolina

These are a summary of key points issued by the state for recreation facilities to include in their reopening plans.

  • Face coverings are required.
  • Physical distancing is to be maintained at a minimum of 6 feet.
  • Frequently wash hands for 20 seconds with soap and water or use a sanitizer that contains at least 60% alcohol.
  • Gym capacity is limited to a certain number of people, 5 people (staff and members) per 1,000 sq. ft. or 20% capacity, whichever is less.
  • Use one-way entrances and exits.
  • Provide training for staff in the new procedures prior to coming back to work.
  • Members must disinfect equipment before and after use.
  • Locker rooms can be open, but showers will not be available.
  • No contact training and no equipment sharing is permitted during training sessions.
  • A pre-use and post-use wipe down using disinfectant wipes is to be performed by the participant for all equipment.

Hours of Operation

The hours of operation are posted on a separate page.  Please note that the hours are subject to change without notice.


Facility Use and Entry

  • A COVID-19 self-assessment check must be conducted prior to entering the facility.
    All persons will show the staff at the entry desk that they have completed the College’s self-assessment app to help ensure they are free of symptoms of COVID-19.  
  • Cougar Cards are required for entry.
    All users are required to present their valid College of Charleston issued picture ID upon entry.  Users will swipe their Cougar Cards on an available card reader. 
  • Entry and exit points are one-way only.
    All persons must adhere to and use the marked one-way entrance and exit.
  • Face coverings must be worn correctly at all times.
    All individuals are required to wear a face covering that fully covers the mouth and nose during their time in the facility including while exercising.  Failure to properly wear the face covering at all times will result in a consequence.  A verbal warning can be expected on the first occasion.  Progressively more serious consequences will include being dismissed from the facility for the day, losing one’s reservation privileges for a week, and if needed, turning the matter over to the Dean’s Office.  
  • Physical distancing must be maintained.
    Persons are expected to maintain at least a 6-foot distance from others during normal activities.  When engaging in exercise activity, the physical distance expected is 12-15 feet from others.
  • Maximum capacity of the Johnson/Silcox facilities.
    The maximum number of persons permitted in either the Johnson or Silcox gym is 30.  The remaining classrooms and activity spaces all will have signs posted stating the max capacity.  J201 has a limit of 25 persons while the workout section on the second floor is limited to 5 at a time.
  • 60 minutes is the maximum time per person in the facility.
    Participants are limited to 60 minutes during their visit to the facility and this will include the time required to wipe down the equipment and to exit the facility. 
  • Locker room and shower areas.
    The shower areas are closed.  No showering will be permitted.  The locker rooms are open only to allow for changing clothes.  A maximum of two may have access at one time.
  • Limit the personal items brought into the facility.
    Individuals may bring with them a water bottle, towel, and an exercise mat.  No other exercise-related items are permitted.  The water fountain is restricted to the filling of water bottles.  Exercise mats will not be available for loan.  Towels will not be provided.
  • Maximize your 60 minutes of visitation time.
    It is recommended that you conduct your pre- and post-exercise routines outside of the facility to maximize your time during your visit. 
  • Participants have a responsibility to clean the equipment and follow hand washing guidelines.
    Users are required to wash hands with warm soap and water for at least twenty seconds before and after workouts.  Persons are required to wipe down the equipment and exercise space before and after use with a CDC or SCDHEC approved disinfectant provided throughout the facility. 
  • Observe directional arrows.
    Flow arrows will be placed on the floor to help users transition smoothly around the facility and to promote physical distancing. 
  • Certain sports are not permitted.
    Basketball and indoor soccer are two of the more popular sport offerings that temporarily will be discontinued.  Pick-up basketball was specifically mentioned in the state’s guidelines.
  • Partner training is not allowed.
    Users will not be allowed to exercise together given the requirement to maintain the appropriate physical distance. 
  • Equipment use limitations.
    Only every other piece of cardio equipment will be available for use.  Equipment not available for use will be clearly marked.  Equipment may not be moved to other places within the facility.  Users are expected to use equipment completely before moving to a new exercise section, since movement between sections will not be allowed.  Circuit-style training in multiple sections will not be permitted. 
  • Staff and participants are expected to review COVID-19 precautions and guidelines.
    Prior to opening and as changes are made, staff members will receive training about the new COVID-19 policies and procedures.  Participants are expected to review the College of Charleston COVID-19 precautions and training information before using the facility.
  • Facility cleaning protocol.
    The student staff will frequently clean machines, equipment, and other common touch points using a medical-grade, CDC or SCDHEC approved disinfectant cleaning agent on door handles, stair rails, elevator touch pads, etc.  ABM, the contracted vendor for custodial services will clean the facility and bathrooms using a medical-grade product throughout the day.


  • Items will not be loaned out from the Johnson Center front desk checkout.
  • Individual workout mats will not be available for use.
  • Users are permitted to bring a towel, personal exercise mat, and water bottle but no other sports-related equipment.

Program Choices

  • Contact sports such as basketball, soccer, and flag football will be absent from numerous other university recreation programs.  In our case we are looking to alternative sports that have little physical contact.  Badminton and ping pong are some of the initial activities that will be tried in this space.

Membership plan

  • Alumni passes will not be available until the COVID-19 threat ends.

Intramural Sports

Physical distancing, face covering use, and maximum occupancy are major factors in determining the programming to offer.  Some of the sports and activities may look different from past semesters, but our goal remains the same—to offer opportunities for students, faculty, and staff to pursue an active, healthy lifestyle.

Fall 2020 Activities

Virtual Programing

Participants will use their own equipment, and interactions will be through electronic means: phone calls, emails, and chat features on applications. For the fishing tournament, loaner rods will be available.  Entries will be posted using IMLeagues.

  • E-Sports - multiple gaming titles are in the mix
  • Trivia Night
  • Chess
  • Fishing
  • Virtual 5K
  • Geocaching

Individual Competitions

Physical distancing guidelines will be enforced and equipment will be sanitized with a CDC or SCDHEC approved disinfectant after each use.

  • Table Tennis – Singles
  • Simulator Golf
  • Badminton
  • Soccer Tennis
  • Disc Golf
  • Yard Games – Bocce, Ladder Golf, Cornhole/Bean Bags, Bottle Bash
  • 8-Ball Pool