Cuomo: NY gyms, fitness centers can begin reopening on Aug. 24
ALBANY– Gov. Andrew Cuomo on Monday, announced that gyms and fitness centers can reopen in New York starting Aug. 24. Facilities that reopen will be subject to rigorous health and safety standards and all gyms and fitness centers will be able to open by Sept. 2.
“As New York maintains daily positive test rates below 1%, the State has determined that local elected officials can allow gyms and fitness centers to reopen at 33% capacity while following rigorous safety protocols, including wearing masks at all times,” Cuomo said in a press release.
“While it’s encouraging that we’ve reached the point where it’s acceptable for them to begin reopening in our communities, this is not the time to forget that the pandemic is ongoing. New Yorkers must closely adhere to the guidelines and local health departments are required to strictly enforce them to help ensure gyms and fitness centers reopen safely and protect the public health.”
Local elected officials may choose to delay the reopening of gyms and fitness centers until Sept. 2 to, in part, provide time for required local health department inspections, and may also choose to delay the reopening of indoor fitness classes until a date beyond Sept. 2. In New York City, the mayor will determine whether gyms and fitness centers should postpone reopening. Outside of New York City, the county’s chief executive — county executive, administrator, manager, or chair of the local elected legislative body — will determine whether gym reopening needs to be postponed.
Localities can also determine whether gyms postpone resumption of indoor classes. In New York City, the mayor and, throughout the rest of the state, the county’s chief executive may decide to opt-out of indoor group fitness and aquatic classes within their jurisdiction, postponing their resumption until a later date. Local health departments must inspect gyms prior to reopening, or within two weeks of reopening, to ensure strict adherence to Department of Health guidance.
Guidance for gyms, fitness centers
• Capacity: 33% occupancy limit.
• Access: Sign-in with contact information and health screening required.
• PPE: Appropriate face coverings required at all times.
• Distancing: 6 feet of separation at all times.
• Hygiene/Cleaning: Cleaning and disinfection supplies made available to customers; shared equipment cleaned after every use; staff must also be available to clean and disinfect equipment in between uses; rental equipment must be cleaned and disinfected between customer use.
• Classes: By appointment/reservation only; maximum class capacity capped at number of people that can adhere to the 6-feet social distancing rules, but in no case more than 33% of the typical class size (i.e., leave stations, cycles, etc. vacant); classes should be scheduled to allow additional time for cleaning and disinfection in between each session.
• Amenities: Water bottle refill stations permitted, but not shared water fountains; communal showers are closed, but individual showers/stalls can remain open so long as they are cleaned in between use.
• Air Handling Systems: Gyms should operate at MERV-13 or greater; if they are unable to operate at that level, they must have heating, ventilation, and air conditioning (HVAC) professional document their inability to do so and adopt additional ventilation and mitigation protocols from American Society of Heating, Refrigerating and Air-Conditioning Engineers (ASHRAE) and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).
• Inspection: Local health departments shall inspect before or within two weeks of the gym/fitness center opening to ensure compliance.