Sparks closes for semester, Goudy halts in-person dining
Updated: Nov 17, 2020
Sparks Fitness Center closed on Nov. 14 for the rest of the semester, Campus Recreation Director Tony Stafford confirmed over email. Additionally, on Nov. 16, the outdoor dining tent across from Goudy closed and Goudy halted in-person dining, and now offers only grab-and-go meals.
While individuals will no longer be able to use Sparks independently, the facility will remain open for “credit-bearing class instruction,” Willamette’s website states. “Fitness centers and gyms are one of six places that have 80 percent of the COVID transmissions currently, [and that] is one of the reasons we have decided to close down,” Stafford said. He added that the plan is to reopen Sparks in the spring, but “most of that decision is out of my control at this point in time.”
On Nov. 13, Governor Kate Brown announced new restrictions due to a drastic spike in COVID cases across the state. The new restrictions will last from Nov. 18 to Dec. 2, but Willamette states on its website that its procedural changes were made independently from the new restrictions: “The freeze does not apply to or change protocols for K-12 schools and higher education, which allows us to operate under previous guidance issued by the Oregon Health Authority.”
These procedural changes include the closing of Sparks for individual usage and Goudy for in-person dining, as well as the closing of the Hallie Ford Museum.