By MARINA WATERS
The senior center in Jonesborough is yet to open back up in its full capacity, but the Jonesborough Board of Mayor and Aldermen gave the go-ahead to reopen the fitness portion of the facility.
“As things are shifting and things are opening back up,” Senior Center Director Mary Regen said at the BMA’s Monday, Aug. 10, meeting, “We felt like we could safely handle the fitness center itself.”
Robin Beals, the fitness instructor at the senior center, said she also leads classes at The Wellness Center in Johnson City. The Wellness Center, which has been open since June, has followed guidelines such as distanced machines and the use of masks or face coverings inside the facility when members are not working out.
“All that has seemed to work out really well,” Beals said. “We’ve not had any problems with that.”
The reopening plan for the fitness portion of the senior center in Jonesborough includes temperature checks, sanitization, and reservations for the fitness room by appointment for 10 to 12 people at a time, Beals said, which could allow for 15 minutes of cleaning preparation between reservations.
Jonesborough Mayor Chuck Vest said he has received numerous emails regarding the senior center with hopes of a reopening in the near future.
“I feel the frustration,” Vest said, “when I get the emails saying, ‘When are you going to get the senior center backup?’ This is a small way (to reopen). It’s not the entire facility.”
Regen and Vest also said they felt mental health was important to keep in mind when considering the fitness center reopening.
“Even with (the pandemic) going on,” Vest said, “at some point, your health is important. Mental health is a huge part of it.”
To stay up to date on the senior center or for more information on the senior center, go to https://www.jonesboroughtn.org/index.php/town-services/town-services/senior-center.
The next BMA meeting will be held on Monday, Sept. 14, at 7 p.m. For more information, go to https://www.jonesboroughtn.org/.