BUFFALO, N.Y. — Erie County Department of Health has released the guidelines to the owners of gyms and fitness centers in order to reopen on Monday.
The Department of Health says they will be inspecting the following types of fitness centers:
- Stand alone gyms
- Gyms located inside hotels
- Gyms located inside apartment/condo facilities
- Gyms located inside office buildings
- Yoga/pilates/barre studios
- Group fitness classes (spinning, dancing, rowing)
- Dance facilities/studios
- Boxing/kickboxing/martial arts studios
- Fitness boot camps, cross fit camps or other plyometric boxes
For each of the following centers listed above, each facility will be required to provide the following guidelines listed below:
- Proof from a HVAC company that the HVAC system has been evaluated, that the appropriate filters are in place per the guidance or that additional measures have been implemented as per the guidance. It should be noted that failure to provide this documentation will result in the facility being closed until such time as the work is completed.
- A copy of the NY Forward safety plan completed by the facility on site for review.Agreement that communal uses of equipment and spaces, which create the highest riskfor infection, must be discontinued (communal showers, hot tubs, water fountains, etc.) If they are in use the facility may be subject to closure or fines and they will haveto provide an updated safety plan for correction.
- No obvious egregious violations of capacity limitations, approved face mask use and physical distancing. If sanitarians find that the operator is not following or enforcing the rules in their business, they could be subject to fines and closure.
- Acknowledgement by ECDOH that the facility is operating in compliance with the NYS guidelines on screening, on-site activities, protective equipment, and hygiene, cleaning and disinfection practices.
“Thorough inspections of each facility is an important step in our continued response to the COVID-19 global pandemic,” said Commissioner of Health Dr. Gale Burstein. “We want to ensure that the users of each one of these locations and their employees will be able to be as safe as possible.”
The Department of Health also says that if a facility has a pool, that pool must also have an inspection prior to opening.
Prior to the guidelines released by the county, New York Governor Andrew Cuomo also said that masks must be worn at all times and members must sign in and out each time they attend to make it easier if contact tracing becomes necessary.
In order to reopen, facilities must request an inspection by visiting https://www.erie.gov/covid19 and filling out the online form.
Some Western New York gyms have been holding fitness classes in parks and in parking lots, waiting for approval from New York State to open their doors again.