Morenci Community Center issues advice on warding off COVID-19 virus

Walt Mares Photo/Gila Herald: The Morenci Fitness Center has a strong number of members. Many community-oriented events are held in the $14 million facility that includes Freeport McMoran copper mine employees and the public in general. It is under the umbrella of Morenci Community Services, which is emphasizing good hygiene at the center to help ward off the COVID-19 virus that is causing a worldwide pandemic.

Effort is aimed ‘to keep everyone healthy, safe’

By Walt Mares

MORENCI – The Morenci Fitness Center has been far ahead of the curve in many ways. For one thing, it has provided anti-bacterial wipes in all of the areas used by patrons to work out. The wipes have long been available in the downstairs weight room or the upstairs section that has a variety of workout equipment.

And now, its overall efforts at cleanliness may be a big step in efforts to stave off the spread of the potentially deadly coronavirus (COVID19).

The virus is so dangerous and spreading so rapidly that the World Health Organization has declared the spread of the virus as being a worldwide pandemic.  

The fitness center is under the umbrella of the Morenci Community Services (MCS) team, which also oversees the operation of the Morenci Public Library and the Morenci Club.

In a news release from the Community Services team, it emphasizes suggestions “to keep everyone healthy and safe.”

Walt Mares Photo/Gila Herald: Morenci Community Center staff member Josh Conrow uses disinfectant to wipe off treadmill handles at the Morenci Fitness Center. Disinfectant wipes for use by Fitness Center members have long been available to those working out at the facility. Cleaning of the machines several times a day, such as Conrow is doing, has also long been a practice at the facility. Good hygiene is being emphasized to help avoid the deadly COVID-19 virus that is spreading worldwide.

The fitness center and the library see a tremendous amount of use. The fitness facility has a large array of state-of-the-art equipment on which members can concentrate on specific areas of body improvement. That includes equipment such as basic barbells, treadmills, stationary bicycles and padded mats upon which a person can lie down and perform stretching exercises.

The upstairs section also has an indoor track for use to walk or run.

The downstairs includes a child care room, a small indoor swimming pool for youths and a large outdoor pool for adults and older children. There is much daily use of the women’s and men’s locker rooms that provide showers and restrooms.

There is a downstairs gymnasium that can be divided into two sections in which totally separate activities can be held. Most recently a youth basketball program drew many spectators for games involving different age groups.  The gym was divided into two sections so two games could be played at the same time.

The fitness center holds a wide variety of activities throughout the year, some of which are held outdoors but a majority involve being indoors.  

The news release is intended to speak to frequently asked questions and shares some information from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).  The MCS news release also said, “We will be increasing the frequency of all cleaning of equipment and commonly touched surfaces.” 

Walt Mares Photo/Gila Herald: Cans providing disinfectant wipes are placed throughout the Morenci Fitness Center. The facility has long made the wipes available, far prior to the current threat of the potentially deadly COVID-19 virus that is spreading worldwide.

The following items are suggested as healthful safety measures:

 -Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds and if soap and water are not available, use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer.

– Clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces – specifically wiping down any and all equipment after every use.

– Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth with unwashed hands.

– Avoid close contact with people who are sick.

– Stay home (or seek medical treatment) when you are sick and/or experiencing symptoms that include fever, cough, and shortness of breath.

– Cover your mouth and nose when you cough or sneeze, with a tissue if possible and immediately dispose of it.

The news release concluded, “Nothing is more important to us than the health and safety of our employees and members.  We will continue to undertake the precautions and best practices recommended by public health experts.”

For any additional information log on to www.cdc.gov/COVID19. MCS may be contacted at (965) 865-6598.

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