FAQ’s: Frequently Asked Questions and Best Practices to Create a Safe Environment for Members and Our Team of Employees
Please check back regularly for updates and the latest information
Q. Can I freeze my account?
A. We offer the option to freeze your membership using your ‘Freeze Privilege’ for one (1) month up to three (3) consecutive months at a time, for a fee. We understand if you wish to freeze your membership but please know, we have put into place our Pledge of Protection to ensure confidence about resuming your exercise program safely at the Center. If you prefer, we will soon be offering at-home options for Group Fitness classes and training as long as your membership remains active.
If you have additional questions or need to request a freeze, please contact: email@example.com
Q. If I paid for a one-year membership in advance, will my time be extended for the time the Center is closed?
A. If you paid for a year in advance, your time will be extended by 6 months, which is the length of time the Center was closed.
Q. Will members be contacted when the Center reopens before billing their accounts?
A. An email with notice of billing was sent on August 28, 2020. If you do not receive this communication, please make sure we have your correct email address on file. If you would like to update your email address, please send your request to firstname.lastname@example.org
Below is an outline of what was sent regarding billing:
Members who have a 1st of the month billing:
- Prorated billing for the period September 8th through September 30th will be processed on September 2nd with an effective date of September 8th. Previously, a half-month credit was placed on these accounts that were billed and paid for on March 1st, 2020. This credit will be applied towards the September billing.
Members who have a 15th of the month billing:
- Billing for the period September 15th through October 14th will be processed on September 10th with an effective date of September 15th. Previously, a full 1-month credit was placed on accounts that were billed and paid for on March 15th, 2020. This credit will be applied to the September billing. On September 15th, you will also be billed for the period September 8th through September 14th.
If you have any questions prior to our reopening on September 8th, the best way to contact us is to email email@example.com.
Q. Is my membership being billed while the Center is closed?
A. No, all accounts are not being billed during the shutdown.
Q. I was billed for 3/15/2020 after I froze my account. Why?
A. Our billing takes a few days to process. If you sent your freeze request after the 3/15 billing cycle was already sent into processing, the billing could not be stopped. The dues for 3/15 will be applied to your first month back at the Center.
For example: Account was frozen on 3/14 for 3/15-4/15. Dues billing was “processed” on 3/12 so the dues went through on 3/15. The account will be considered frozen 3/15 – 4/15. The dues that were billed will be applied to the first month the Center is reopened.
Q. Will the maintenance fee charge be postponed since the Center is closed?
A. Yes. The maintenance fees had already been processed for March 15; however, no additional maintenance fees will be charged during the shutdown.
Safety & Protection
Q. Should members and employees wear gloves?
A. While gloves are optional, we recommend following the CDC guidelines which is to wear gloves when you are cleaning or caring for someone who is sick. It is best for members and employees to concentrate on vigorously washing hands with soap and water for at least 20 seconds before and after workouts rather than wearing gloves throughout the facility. Our team of employees will wear gloves when they are cleaning.
Q. How will the new policies and procedures be enforced in the Center?
A. Our staff will be trained to act as “Physical Distancing Ambassadors.” They will hold members accountable for all member policies, procedures, rules, and regulations. They will help maintain safe distancing parameters and will assist with cleaning on the Fitness Floor. The Ambassadors will also correct any member behavior that is in violation of established member policies.
Q. How will distancing guidelines be maintained in the Center?
A. You will notice many measures in place to achieve the advised physical distancing. We have arranged the Fitness Floor to facilitate physical distancing—which required reducing the available cardio equipment for use. Select pieces of cardio equipment have been unplugged and clearly marked to facilitate distancing. Some additional spacing has been provided where needed in the strength training area. Floor markings have been placed in the studios and throughout the facility. Locker rooms have signage and some lockers have been placed out-of-service. Throughout the entire Center there is signage on the walls and floors to remind everyone to practice safe physical distancing.
Q. What are the hours of operation once the Center is able to open?
A. In order to promote a clean and sanitary facility, we have temporarily modified our operating hours. Our initial operating hours will be:
- Monday–Thursday: 5:00am–10:00pm
- Friday: 5:00am–9:00pm
- Saturday & Sunday: 7:00am–5:00pm
Q. Are the locker rooms open?
A. The locker rooms are open, and a limited number of lockers are available for use. The number of lockers available are limited to achieve adequate physical distancing. Members are asked to abide by the physical distancing markers and respect the space of other members. If a member is using a locker, please wait until they leave the area or step aside before trying to use a locker nearby. Please use a disinfectant wipe before and after occupying a locker. Housekeeping will also be sanitizing the lockers throughout the course of the day.
Q. Will the wet areas in the locker rooms be open?
A. The sinks, restrooms, and showers are open in the locker rooms. These areas will be cleaned and disinfected regularly throughout the course of the day. In accordance with guidelines from the State of New Jersey, the sauna will remain temporarily closed.
Q. Will drinking fountains be available?
A. Members are encouraged to bring their own water bottles to the Center. The water fountains will be temporarily unavailable for sanitary reasons.
Q. Will Group Fitness classes be available when you open?
A. We will open with a modified Group Fitness schedule and a class reservation system, in compliance with state guidelines. This modified schedule will allow enough time in between classes for cleaning and studio rest. The schedule will be posted on the website and Empower M.E., our member portal. See below on how to reserve a spot in class.
Q. Will there be a limit to the number of people permitted in a Group Fitness class?
A. Yes. To maintain adequate physical distancing and prevent overcrowding, there is a limited capacity for all Group Fitness classes. The appropriate number will depend on the size of the studio. The capacity will be specified on the Group Fitness calendar when you go to book.
Q. How do I reserve a spot in my favorite class if the participants are limited?
A. All classes will require reservations. Reservations are on a first come, first served basis. You will be able to book a spot 48 hours in advance. You will simply book through the class schedule on the website or log into EmpowerM.E. If you find that you cannot attend the class, you must cancel within two (2) hours of the class or you will be charged a $5 no-show fee on your membership account. If you are at the Center and a class is scheduled to begin and it is not full, you may join the class with the instructor’s permission. If you are unable to participate in person because the class is full you may choose to participate virtually. More details on virtual programming below.
Q. Can I take more than one class a day?
A. We are requesting that members only attend one class per day to allow other members the opportunity to participate during this period of limited capacity class sizes and modified Group Fitness schedule.
Q. Can I bring my own equipment?
A. We have developed very strict disinfecting and sanitizing protocols for Group Fitness mats and supplies, following the conclusion of each class. If you are more comfortable bringing your own supplies, you certainly may. If you do bring your own supplies, we must caution you that all items must be disinfected before and after use, and please do not leave them unattended at any time.
Q. Will there be any restrictions on studio access?
A. Studios will not be accessible for use in between classes. Studio doors will open 10 minutes before the start of class. Participants will be requested to stand on the distancing markers set on the floor and check-in with the instructor to ensure attendance is confirmed. Post-class we request all participants to promptly exit the studio so we can begin our cleaning protocols and studio reset.
Q. What is virtual programming and what services will be available?
A. Virtual programming is an at-home solution that will help you continue to lead a healthy lifestyle and stay engaged with your Center family all in the comfort of your home. We will offer a wide variety of Group Fitness class favorites virtually. We will also provide a dashboard for on-demand Group Fitness options you can access, exclusive to members only. Once the Center reopens, to participate in virtual programming you must have an active membership and must register for the class.
Q. How can I access virtual programming options?
A. You will be able to sign-up for programing through the Center website and will be required to log in. Once you register for a virtual program you will receive an invite. There will be more information on virtual fitness coming soon.
Q. Will I be able to schedule an assessment with the nurse when you reopen?
A. Our assessment schedule with the nurse will be temporarily suspended until we can have a safe physical interaction and deliver a valuable assessment for your health and wellness needs. We will communicate with members when nurse assessments resume.
Q. Will I be able to meet with a trainer to receive a fitness orientation and exercise prescription/plan?
A. Yes. You will be able to meet with a trainer to complete your exercise orientation and prescription. Our trainers will wear masks at all times and will adhere to safe physical distancing guidelines while completing this service.
Q. Will I be able to purchase and/or use Personal Training sessions?
A. Yes. We offer both in-person and virtual personal training. To provide a safe experience while conducting in-person training, we’ve implemented extra safety protocols for you and your trainer. If you’re still not ready to come into the Center yet or have a condition that prevents you from coming in, consider our virtual training option which is conducted from the comfort of your home. Please, feel free to contact our Personal Training Manager if you would like more information on the benefits of Personal Training and discuss which route is best for your fitness goals and comfort level. You can also purchase training sessions online through the EmpowerM.E. portal.
Q. Will my monthly Personal Training plan still be billed?
A. All billing for Personal Training programs are suspended during shutdown.
Q. Will clients with Personal Training sessions set to expire be provided an extension?
A. Yes. We will extend the expiration date equivalent to the amount of time the Center is closed.
You must reserve a lane in the lap pool or “spot” in the therapy pool through our member portal, Empower M.E. You do NOT need to reserve a spot in the spa pool, however, we ask that members limit their time to 15 minutes, and there is a maximum capacity of 4 members at one time.
Q. Will the pools be open when you reopen?
A. Yes, the lap, therapy, and spa pools are open. Everyone must wear a mask when entering the Aquatics Center and while on the pool deck. Masks should not be worn in the water, as this is a drowning hazard. The CDC has declared swimming pools to be safe. Members and swim clients will need to make a reservation before heading to the Aquatics Center, as space is limited due to physical distancing requirements. Reservations are on a first come, first served basis. You will be able to book a lap pool lane or a visit to the therapy pool 48 hours in advance. You will be able to make a reservation through Empower M.E. If you find that you cannot attend, you must cancel within two (2) hours of your reservation or you will be charged a $15 no-show fee on your membership account. If you are at the Center and a lane or a spot in the therapy pool is available because it was not reserved or there was a cancellation, you may use the lane or the spot with the lifeguard’s permission, but only for the amount of time it is not reserved.
Q. Will swim package expiration dates be extended?
A. Yes. We will extend the expiration date for all swim packages equivalent to the amount of time we are closed.
Q. Will we be able to get our previous swim lesson time slots with our swim instructors or do we have to schedule again?
A. We hope to continue with the same schedules. Instructors will reach out once we are cleared to open and resume lessons.
Q. Swim team/comp stroke/parent child/group classes – will there be an extension?
A. Yes. We will extend the sessions for the equivalent amount of time the Center is closed.
Q. Will we still be able to attend family swim on the weekends?
A. We know how much our members enjoy family swim on the weekends. While we are directed to limit recreational activities in the pool for now, we are eager to bring back this amenity as soon as possible.
Q. Will Childcare be provided when you reopen?
A. We know how important our Childcare services are to so many of the families we serve. While our Childcare services will not be available right away, we are eager to bring it back as soon as possible. Once we reopen Childcare we will follow strict cleaning and disinfecting protocols, and we will operate by reservations to adhere to physical distancing guidelines.
Note from Center Management:
We hope you find these FAQs helpful. Please check back for regular updates as we continue to receive additional guidance from the state. The health and well-being of our members and employees remain our top priority. We thank you for your patience and understanding. Your continued commitment to your health is so appreciated.
Please stay safe!
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