ALBANY, N.Y. (AP) — New York has allowed indoor gyms to reopen across the state as soon as next week if they meet public health requirements. Those include inspections, mandatory mask wearing, a 33% occupancy limit and 6 feet between gym-goers. Gov. Andrew Cuomo said Monday that all gyms that meet health and safety standards can open by Aug. 24 or by Sept. 2 if local officials say they need more time for inspections. The governor’s announcement comes just over five months after the state shuttered gyms and other businesses statewide in efforts of reducing the spread of the coronavirus.
Guidance for Gyms and 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.
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