Using the Recreation Center

February 1, 2021

Note: The following update was sent on Monday, Feb. 1, to update the status of facilities at the O’Connor Recreation Center. The original message, sent on Friday, Jan. 29, is below.

Though we were eagerly anticipating the Monday re-opening of the Ralph S. O’Connor Center for Recreation and Well-Being, we regrettably must delay that opening due to staffing issues. The Rec relies on a small, specialized group of employees, some of whom have been impacted by COVID-19 and are not presently able to report to the facility. We anticipate the Rec will be closed for at least two weeks and the pool closed for a month, as we return to full staffing and complete training for lifeguards and other student workers. We will continue to update the status of reopening via the new JHU Rec mobile app, Follow Me to the Rec (find it here in the Apple App Store & Google Play Store), as well as via the Member Portal.  You may also check the Rec website. Please refer to the communication sent out on Friday (insert link to that communication here) for additional information about how to access the Rec upon reopening.We sincerely apologize for any inconvenience this may cause, and we appreciate your flexibility and patience as we work diligently to safely reopen our space.

We look forward to seeing you soon!

Jen Baker
Director of Athletics and Recreation 

Bill Harrington
Senior Associate Athletic Director and Director of Recreation and Facilities

Original message

January 29, 2021

Dear Students, 

On Monday, February 1 the Ralph S. O’Connor Center for Recreation and Well-Being will reopen its doors for the spring semester. It is expected that all Rec Center patrons will comply with the safety guidelines outlined in the JHU Return to Campus guide. In addition, the Office of Recreation is committed to mitigating the risk of COVID-19 exposure for our students, patrons, and staff. We are implementing enhanced safety measures for facilities, programs, and services which include increased cleaning protocols, physical distancing, modified occupancy, touchless facility access, and updated code of conduct for use of recreational spaces. Please continue reading to learn more about these measures and other changes in operations. 

We look forward to seeing you at the Rec!

Jen Baker
Director of Athletics and Recreation 

Bill Harrington
Senior Associate Athletic Director and Director of Recreation and Facilities

Important Takeaways

  • The Rec Center will open on Monday, Feb. 1 with new policies and procedures and capacity limits for programs and facility usage.
  • Prior to accessing the facility, all members are required to complete the re-registration process in the new Member Portal.
  • Workout time slots will be available in 45-minute increments that can be reserved through the new Member Portal or Follow Me to the Rec mobile app.
  • A “green” Prodensity pass must be presented to Welcome Desk staff upon entering the facility.
  • University face covering and physical distancing policies apply to all workouts except while actively swimming.
  • Locker rooms and daily use lockers will be closed.
  • Pool lanes will open February 15 with reservations. Showers will be available for members with a pool reservation.
  • The climbing wall is currently closed but may reopen in March.
  • Group fitness classes, sports clubs, and intramurals will continue with virtual offerings until further notice.


New Policies and Procedures

The Recreation Center will reopen on Monday, February 1 with the following hours for spring semester:

  • Monday–Friday, 6 a.m.–10 p.m.
  • Saturday, 8 a.m.–10 p.m.
  • Sunday, 10 a.m.–10 p.m.

Capacity will be limited for programs and facility usage, with equipment spaced to allow for physical distancing.

Prior to accessing the Rec Center, all members are required to complete the re-registration process using the new Member Portal. In addition to minimizing contact with Rec Center staff, the new portal will also allow members to update their member profile and view the Rec Center calendar.

To access the facility, all members will be required to reserve 45-minute workout slots using the Member Portal or the new Follow Me to the Rec mobile app. These slots apply to all Rec Center areas, including strength equipment, cardio equipment, group exercise, pool lanes, and tennis courts. 

In addition to workout reservations, the Follow Me to the Rec app allows for live counts of facility usage; membership initiation and renewal; digital signatures for waivers; barcode scanning for contactless entry (if you forgot your J-Card); and push notifications for facility closures and class cancelations, program announcements, and more. The app is available for download from the Apple App Store and on Google Play Store.

Members will also need to log in to the Prodensity app prior to arriving to campus and display their date-stamped “green” Prodensity pass to the Welcome Desk staff.

Face coverings are required at all times when working out. Cardio and strength areas will be monitored by Recreation Center staff.

Until further notice, locker rooms and daily use lockers will be closed and towel service will be suspended. The equipment room will also be closed.

Each member will be required to wipe down their used equipment pre- and post-workout. Rec Center staff will follow up with more cleaning and sanitizing misting at the end of reservation time slots. Enhanced cleaning protocols will also take place overnight.

Water fountains will be closed but bottle filling stations will be available. 

Due to the Rec Center’s facility access requirements, guests and family members will be unable to access the facility during the spring semester. We are hopeful to have guests and family members rejoin us in the fall. 

Please note the facility may close intermittently due to the ongoing renovation of the Rec Center. Learn more about this exciting project.

More information and details on our new policies and procedures can be found on our FAQs page.


The pool will reopen on Monday, February 15. There will be nine lanes available (one swimmer per lane). Lanes must be reserved in advance, and reservations can be made through the Follow Me to the Rec app or via the Member Portal. Showers will be available for people with a pool reservation. Swimmers must shower before entering the pool by using the showers in the men’s and women’s general locker rooms. Lockers will not be available. Face coverings are required on the pool deck but not when actively swimming. Swim hours have been modified.

Climbing Wall

The climbing facilities are currently closed but may reopen in early March. Please check the Rec Center website for updates on reopening. When we reopen, we will have contactless check-in and digital waivers, three auto belays for reservation, and reservation times for bouldering and belayed climbing.

Group Fitness

All group fitness classes will continue to be held virtually. Classes are free to attend. Please check out the group fitness class schedule for more information.

Sports Clubs

Sports Clubs will continue to meet virtually. We hope to return sports clubs to in-person activities as soon as deemed safe and are actively working to do so. 


Intramurals will offer Esports leagues and/or tournaments during the spring semester.  Notifications and updates on the anticipated in-person leagues and tournaments will be made through the Follow Me to the Rec app. We are hopeful to be able to offer outdoor intramurals later this semester. 

Experiential Education 

The Experiential Education programs, including Outdoor Pursuits and the Johns Hopkins Outdoors Club, will have virtual workshop opportunities throughout the semester. We are hopeful to have local outdoor trips for the warmer months. Please check out our Hopkins Groups event page to reserve spots on workshops and trips. First-year and sophomore students interested in becoming an outdoor instructor this spring should check out our Becoming an Instructor page for more information.

Have Questions?

Contact the Welcome Desk at 410-516-4434 or email Also, be sure to follow the Rec Center on Facebook and Instagram.

We welcome your feedback on these communications! If you have general suggestions, recommendations for topics you’d like to see covered, or anything else, please email