Local gyms working out details to reopen

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As gyms in New York can reopen after August 24 once meeting certain parameters, local facilities are currently working to get on board.

Among guidelines that must be met are public health requirements including inspections, mandatory mask wearing, a 33% occupancy limit and 6 feet between gym-goers.

All gyms that meet the state’s health and safety standards can open between now and Sept. 2 if local officials say they need more time for local inspections, according to reports.

Secretary to the Governor Melissa DeRosa said gyms must require patrons to wear masks all the time — unlike in indoor dining. Gyms must require sign-in forms to help with contact tracing efforts, use techniques like temperature checks to screen patrons at their doors and install certain air filters.

Locally, facilities like the YMCA of the Greater Tri-Valley have been shuttered since March 15, notes Executive Director Hank Leo. In later months, partial services such as outdoor fitness classes were made available.

“There’s a lot of people that are itching to get back in,” he said.

To make that happen, Leo said there is work to do.

All YMCA facilities in Madison and Oneida counties are currently undergoing mandated inspections of their heating and ventilation systems in order to ensure they meet air purification and flow standards. 

Leo said the system at the Oneida location passed and since there is an identical system at the Rome facility, he is confident that it will pass the inspection as well.

He adds that gyms also need to submit a reopening plan to the county health department for approval. 

Part of that plan includes implementing social distancing guidelines and signage. Also structuring operation hours so that a mid-day break will facilitate location cleaning before reopening for afternoon and evening programming.

The YMCA is planning to reopen all programs in stages. First will be the wellness centers, then indoor exercise rooms. At some point childcare programs will launch.

“It is a slow and steady recovery with a lot of caution, attention and care at all of our locations,” he said.

• Planet Fitness, 1895 Black River Blvd, in an email blast to its members, announced it plans to reopen on Friday, Aug. 28. As part of its reopening plan, staff members will receive daily temperature checks and have completed extensive training on heightened sanitization procedures. It also announced a new touchless check-in system on its free app.

To accommodate “Social Fitnessing,” some pieces of cardio equipment will be temporarily marked out of use to create additional distance between club members when working out.

• The Oneida location of Planet Fitness, in the Glenwood Shopping Plaza, reopened to members on Monday.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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