University outdoor recreation shop reopens for Phase 3

Equipment is cleaned, disinfected for 72 hours between rentals; reservations must be made to use equipment



The WSU Outdoor Recreation Rental Shop partially reopened on Monday. Employees are required to wear face masks and rentals are disinfected after every use.

BRADLEY GAMBLE, Evergreen reporter

The WSU Outdoor Recreation Rental Shop partially reopened on Monday, following Whitman County’s approval for Phase 3 of reopening. 

Donald Schmit, Rental Shop and Coug Bikes coordinator, said they have employed safety measures to limit the possible spread of disease. Equipment is cleaned and disinfected for 72 hours between rentals. He said cleaning solutions have been modified to effectively kill the disease.

The rental shop operates on a reservation system, which limits reservations based on the number of employees working and what items are rented. The shop also offers curbside pickup for every item except for kayaks and canoes, he said. 

Rental shop employees are required to wear a cloth mask at all times, according to the university recreation website. Customers and staff have to maintain social distancing. Customers are encouraged to wear face masks, but masks are not required for entry.

Schmit said employees go around campus each day spraying the Coug Bikes with a disinfectant to prevent the spread of COVID-19. 

“We mainly spray the brake controls, the shifter, the handlebars and seat controller, and let that sit for at least 10 minutes,” he said. “That’s mainly how Coug Bikes has been containing the spread.”

Joanne Greene, director of programming for University Recreation, said the Chinook Student Center is offering workout classes. The University REC Center and Chinook will reopen for more people once the state releases fitness center guidelines for Phase 3. 

“As soon as they’re released, we’ll reach a draft of how we’re going to operate according to those guidelines,” she said. “Then we’ll run it by folks on campus.”

Outdoor recreational trips are now available again, according to the website. Transportation is not provided due to the reopening guidelines. However, some activities are on campus and people are encouraged to drive themselves for other activities. 

Greene said activities are planned to allow for social distancing. Trips involving cooking or sharing stoves will be operated by one person at a time and stoves will be cleaned between each person. 

More information on shop reservations, workout registrations and the new guidelines can be found on the recreation website.