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 firstname.lastname@example.org