PENFIELD, N.Y. (WROC) — Owners of several gyms and fitness centers met at Athletic Apex in Penfield Thursday to publicly explain their detailed reopening plan that they have submitted to New York state officials.
This comes at a time when gyms have been struggling financially during the pandemic and shutdown. Jeff Sanders, CEO of Athletic Apex Health Clubs, said that he paid all of his staff for the rest of March, but everyone went on furlough until PPP funds came in.
This issue is compounded when the Governor calls gyms “highly problematic.”
That’s why Sanders spearheaded NYS Fitness Alliance. It’s a cooperative of dozens of gyms—including Apex, Midtown Athletic Club, Breathe, LA Fitness, and Orange Theory—across New York state which represents more than four million gym members. NYS Fitness Alliance submitted their reopening proposal Thursday.
“We’re here, as an industry, to combat this pandemic,” he said. “We know health is a big part of what makes people stronger.”
The nearly 10-page plan goes into great detail regarding masking, social distancing, and sanitation protocols, for members and employees. All gyms who are apart of this alliance have agreed to adhere to these guidelines.
“We believe we can reopen safely, and provide a safe environment for our members to come in and work out,” he said. “We have science and facts in place.”
They say their plan is in compliance or exceeds CDC guidelines, New York State Department of Health, and OSHA guidelines. The NYSFA has included a letter from Dr. Ravi Durvasula, Professor of Medicine and Infectious Diseases at Loyola University of Chicago.
“We formed the NYSFA to give our industry a voice and we want to work cohesively with the State,” said Sanders in a statement to the media prior to the press conference. “New Yorkers across the state are suffering physical and mentally due to not being able to utilize fitness centers… Our goal is not to just carelessly open, rather our goal is to open with the safest protocols in place from any industry.”
They also say that many other “indoor industries” can reopen, but gyms have been exempt.
During the press conference, Sanders reiterated numerous times that their goal is health and safety for everyone, and that they will emphasis and seek out dialogue with the state regarding any shifting plans.
NYSFA also say that other health issues, particularly obesity and heart problems, could be getting worse because people don’t have access to the gym.
“We know we can do this right now,” Sanders said.
Take a look at the reopening plan from the New York State Fitness Alliance:
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