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Reopening for Gyms, Fitness + Yoga Studios

While we wait for New York State guidelines to reopen gyms, fitness and yoga studios.

be sure to have your  New York State Safety Plan in place. To download a template to create yours, visit here

According to credible health sources, COVID-19 is not spread through perspiration (sweat). But, items touched by many people in a gym (e.g., barbells, weight machines, aerobic fitness equipment, etc.) could pose a risk for transmission of settled respiratory droplets.

Here are some things, that you can do to keep your space safe:

  • Clean and sanitize all common touch areas at least once a day.
  • Encourage outdoor activity and classes if you can.
  • Properly utilize ventilation systems and maximize fresh air through your ventilation system.
  • Open doors and windows if possible
  • If fans, such as pedestal fans or hard mounted fans, are used in the gym, take steps to minimize air from fans blowing from one person directly at another individual.
  • Provide disposable materials for members to wipe/disinfect equipment before and after exercise at each location/station/piece of equipment.
  • Consider providing “ready to clean” tags that members can place on equipment after using it so staff can disinfect equipment in a timely manner.
  • Establish a regular disinfection routine for staff.
  • Ensure disinfection protocols follow product instructions for application and contact time
  • Disinfect contact surfaces frequently.
    • Promote these practices to members – make this visible.
  • Consider using a checklist or audit system to track how often cleaning is conducted.
  • Check restrooms/showers/locker rooms regularly
    • Clean and sanitize them based on frequency of use.
  • Establish a “before and after” workout and locker room hand washing or sanitizing for all members and staff.
  • Provide hand washing stations at the front of the establishment or, alternatively, provide hand sanitizer if hand washing is not feasible.
  • Hang signs letting patrons know what you are doing to mitigate the spread of COVID-19 (e.g. – disinfection routine, health policies for staff, and health & safety measures in place).
  • Consider communicating to members when it’s a good time to stay home not come to the gym (e.g. taking care of someone who is COVID-19 positive, exhibiting symptoms of COVID-19, being in a high-risk category, etc.).
  • Communicate that the fitness center has the right to refuse service to anyone exhibiting symptoms or not following guidelines (e.g., physical distancing).
  • Limit the number of occupants allowed at  the gym at one time.
    • Take into consideration physical distance guidelines for equipment layout and activities.
  • Consider distancing equipment at least 6 feet apart with greater distancing for treadmills and other aerobic fitness equipment where high exertion is common.
  • Aerobic fitness equipment can be arranged in an “X” pattern to provide greater distancing.
  • Physical barriers can also be helpful to create distancing or segregate exercise areas.
  • Consider developing online sign-up systems (i.e., first come first serve) with set-duration (one hour) workout periods.
  • Consider creating specific hours for “reservation-only” admittance limited to just seniors or other members with high-risk.
  • Train gym personnel on distancing guidelines and ways to communicate them to members.
  • Use social media and other communication (signage/email/text lists) to educate members on the distancing guidelines and procedures. Utilize self-check-in or place barrier/partition between front desk staff and members.
  • Mark distances of six feet for members using tape/markers/paint/signage.
  • Consider offering planned circuit type workouts that facilitate distancing and allow for wiping/disinfection of equipment during recovery between exercises.
  • Group exercise classes should only be offered if distancing requirements can be maintained and there is no person-to-person physical contact.
  • Sauna and steam baths should be closed or limited to one guest or family unit at a time.
  • Personal trainers and staff assisting members with exercise should honor distancing.
  • Water fountains should be closed, and patrons encouraged to bring their own water.
  • Provide hand sanitizer for members to use, including contactless hand sanitizing stations.
  • Post signs reminding guests about social distancing.
  • Juice bars and other food service areas should follow guidelines for restaurants.
  • For single restrooms, provide signage and materials (paper towels and trash cans) for people to use without touching the handles if you can, and consider providing a key so it’s easier for you to keep up with disinfection.
  • Have signs indicating that toilet lids should be closed before flushing.
  • Have signs asking members and employees to wash hands before and after using the restroom.
  • Provide paper towels in restrooms and disconnect or tape-off hand air dryers.
  • Only allow shower and locker room use if there are partitions. If you can’ partition these spaces, consider closing them temporarily
  • Request that shoes should be worn in locker rooms/showers.
  • Double the frequency of bathrooms/showers/locker rooms cleaning and disinfection

If you have any questions, or have other tips to share, let  us know at