A sign on the door of the campus recreation center reads that it will remain closed until an order by the Missoula County Health Department is amended or extended. The order was posted below the sign, as well as a sign displaying the times for yoga classes now being offered online.

The UM Campus Recreation facility closed March 19 due to the spread of COVID-19, according to an email sent to all students and faculty.

Given the large number of people who use the facility and the shared equipment, UM Campus Recreation felt it was necessary to temporarily close its facilities and programs, according to the email.

Despite the closure of the facility, seven Campus Recreation employees are still hosting classes online via Facebook Live.

Online classes include yoga, strength, HIIT, dance classes and PiYo, a mix between Pilates and yoga. Classes have minimal equipment needed to participate in the exercises and are all open to anyone who wants to join.

The schedule of classes can be found on the Campus Recreation Facebook and Instagram pages.

Kelsey Whittaker, senior assistant director of fitness programs, is one of the seven instructors teaching classes online.

“I think there is a lot of uncertainty within the Missoula community, and I think there is a lot of uncertainty within the University community,” Whittaker said. “We're trying to do the best we can while our services are closed.”

Whittaker is unsure how long these classes will be offered because it is unclear how long the Campus Recreation facility will be closed. 

Campus Recreation staff and the Office of the Vice Provost for Student Success met March 16 to decide a plan moving forward and will notify the campus community on future decisions about the reopening of Campus Recreation facilities, according to the email.

The closure of Campus Recreation followed the move to to-go meals only at the Food Zoo due to a Missoula city wide mandate to limit bars and restaurants to only take-out services from March 17 to March 24.

“This is a global pandemic of a new virus that spreads easily from person-to-person, and we need everyone’s help in curbing it,” said Ellen Leahy, Missoula City-County Health Officer, in a press release.