How to reopen a gym in New York

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NEW YORK (NEWS10/WWTI) — Gyms and fitness centers can reopen in New York starting August 24. Facilities that reopen will be subject to strict safety standards.

A 17-page document was released from New York State Monday night detailing the guidelines for reopening gyms. The following are key highlights from the document. State officials said the guidelines are subject to change and the owners have to meet the minimum requirements listed on the document, they can also choose to implement any additional precautions.

The guidelines are based on the “best-known public health practices at the time of publication.”

Local elected officials may choose to delay the reopening of gyms and fitness centers until September 2. The reopening of indoor fitness classes may be delayed later than September 2. This will allow time for the required local health department inspections.

Local health departments must inspect gyms prior to reopening, or within two weeks of reopening, to ensure strict adherence to Department of Health guidance.

Guidance for gyms and fitness centers to reopen includes:

  • Gym occupancy must not exceed 33% capacity
  • Each individual must sign in with their contact information
  • A health screening is required
  • Masks or other appropriate PPE are required at all times
  • Individuals must maintain a distance of six feet apart at all times
  • Cleaning and disinfecting supplies must be made available to all customers
  • Shared equipment must be cleaned after each use
  • Staff must be available to disinfect equipment in between uses
  • Rental equipment must be disinfected between each use
  • Classes will be by appointment only with a maximum capacity of 33% of the typical class size
  • Social distancing of six feet must be maintained during any classes
  • Water bottle refill stations are permitted, but not shared water fountains
  • Communal showers will be closed, but individual showers may be open if cleaned between each use
  • For air handling systems, gyms should operate at MERV-13 or greater
  • If gyms are unable to operate at MERV-13, they must provide a document by an HVAC professional regarding their inability to maintain such standards and adopt additional ventilation and mitigation protocols from American Society of Heating, Refrigerating and Air-Conditioning Engineers and the CDC
  • Gyms must inspected by local health departments before reopening or within two weeks

“As New York maintains daily positive test rates below 1 percent, the State has determined that local elected officials can allow gyms and fitness centers to reopen at 33% capacity while following rigorous safety protocols, including wearing masks at all times,” Gov. Andrew Cuomo said.

“While it’s encouraging that we’ve reached the point where it’s acceptable for them to begin reopening in our communities, this is not the time to forget that the pandemic is ongoing. New Yorkers must closely adhere to the guidelines and local health departments are required to strictly enforce them to help ensure gyms and fitness centers reopen safely and protect the public health.”

To view the entire document released by state officials, visit this link.


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