What to expect from gyms and fitness studios as they reopen amid the coronavirus pandemic

As gyms and fitness studios begin to reopen in various states across the country, they will be tasked with developing a plan to make sure returning members can workout safely amid the ongoing coronavirus pandemic.

Gyms, movie theaters, houses of worship and sporting venues are among those included in phase one of the White House’s three-phase reopening plan. Gyms can reopen if they adhere to “strict physical distancing and sanitation protocols.”

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Point Loma Sports Club, a gym in San Diego, California, said gym-goers will first have their temperature taken and be required to sign a waiver in order to enter the building. California has yet to announce when gyms can officially reopen, but Gov. Gavin Newsom said Wednesday that guidelines to reopen the fitness industry could be released “within a week or so.”

Whenever that day comes, staff members at Point Loma Sports Club will regularly disinfect machines and other workout areas, according to general manager Bryan Welch. Customers will also be asked to do the same after they’re finished with equipment.

Masks will be required at all times in the gym, unless working out in the outdoor area, Welch explains in a video posted by the club. If someone doesn’t “believe in masks,” the gym’s guidelines ask people to wear one anyway.

“Not for ourselves, but to protect those around us,” Welch said. 

The club will limit locker rooms to five people at a time to maintain social distancing guidelines. Showers are also not permitted.

Welch said every other cardio machine on the floor has been blocked off to keep distance between users. The gym has also hired several “health guards” to walk around and continue to disinfect equipment throughout the day.

Point Loma Sports Club, located in San Diego, California, explained in a video that gym-goers will first have their temperature taken and sign a waiver to enter the building. They’ll be required to wear masks, unless working out in the outdoor area.

Other gyms have shared similar plans to help curb the spread of COVID-19 while simultaneously returning to some sense of normal operations.

Orangetheory Fitness, a franchised chain with more than 1,200 studios in all 50 U.S. states and in more than 23 countries, said classes will be held at limited capacity and be shorter “to allow extra time for cleaning and disinfecting in between classes.”

All coaches and staff will wear gloves and masks during classes and have their temperatures checked before work. Members will also have their temperatures taken and be asked to arrive no more than five minutes before classes to avoid congregating in the studio lobby.

Health officials say one of the best ways to prevent spread of the virus is washing your hands. The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommends first washing with warm or cold water and then lathering soap for 20 seconds to get it on the backs of hands, between fingers and under fingernails before rinsing off.

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This story was reported from Cincinnati.