Rules New York Gyms May Have to Follow When Allowed to Reopen
There are a number of COVID-19 related guidelines gyms across New York State may have to follow when allowed to reopen.
A New York State official tells Hudson Valley Post gyms across New York State will likely be allowed to reopen, with social distancing protocols in place, during Phase 4. As of this writing, the Hudson Valley is on track to hit Phase 4 on July 7.
There have been many rumors of what gyms will look like when allowed to reopen, but as of June 17, New York officials have yet to release any officials guidelines.
However, we can get a sense of what the social distancing protocols might be by looking at what Connecticut is doing. Sports and fitness facilities like gyms are reopening across Connecticut on Wednesday.
Some of the takeaways from Connecticut's fitness center guidelines are gyms must adjust equipment layout and close or restrict access to equipment to maintain at least 6-feet or 12-feet of distance between equipment depending on whether or not customers are wearing a mask. Locker rooms must mark every other or every third locker for non-use and water fountains will only be allowed to fill up water bottles
Below are guidelines for gyms in Connecticut:
- Gyms will be kept at 50 percent capacity
- Fitness Centers that require masks can allow customers to stand 6 feet apart
- Fitness Centers that don't require masks must keep 12-feet between customers
- Temporarily close common areas, break rooms, check-in counters (unless touchless), where customers or employees may congregate.
Social Distancing Measures
- Install visual social distancing markers to encourage customers to remain 6 ft apart (e.g., the entrance to the facility, locker rooms, class spaces, fan areas).
- Consider limiting the length of activities to avoid unnecessary exposure, decrease congestion.
- Adjust equipment layout and close or restrict access to equipment to maintain at least 6 ft of distance between equipment.
- Employees shall clean all equipment frequently, and customers must wipe down equipment after each use. This includes free weights.
- Install touchless appliances wherever possible
- Establish and clearly mark “workout zones” for use of dumbbells and free weights.
- Free weight exercises that require a spotter cannot be conducted while honoring social distancing norms. Safety measures in all forms must be strictly enforced in the weight room.
- Close or remove amenities non-essential to businesses' main function like babysitting
- Shared machinery and equipment shall be thoroughly cleaned after every use.
- Front desks should be outfitted with Plexiglas or other similar type of barrier.
- Disable or mark every other or every third locker for non-use to enforce 6 ft social distancing requirement.
- Facilities where lockers are assigned to members are not required to disable lockers but must enforce social distancing requirement.
- Remove any casual seating other than benches by lockers as necessary.
- Disable or close-off showers except for rinsing before and after any pool activity.
- Disable or close-off steam rooms and saunas.
- If independent showers are available and used, they must be attended and sanitized between each use
- Athletes, coaches, and customers shall be required to bring their own water bottles. Water fountain use shall be restricted to water bottle filling stations only. Congregating at water bottle filling stations shall be limited and signage reinforcing the use of water bottle filling stations only must be displayed.
- Must be thoroughly cleaned and sanitized after every use.
Indoor Group Classes
- Indoor group classes shall only be held at 50% capacity of space where class is taking place while maintaining 6 ft of social distancing at all times. Space should be thoroughly cleaned after every use
- 50% capacity and 6 ft distancing.