Cuomo: Gyms can reopen starting Aug. 24

After closing for five months because of the coronavirus pandemic, gyms in New York state can finally reopen, Gov. Andrew Cuomo announced Monday.

Posted: Aug 17, 2020 11:53 AM
Updated: Aug 17, 2020 6:02 PM

ALBANY, N.Y. – After closing for five months because of the coronavirus pandemic, gyms in New York state can finally reopen, Gov. Andrew Cuomo announced Monday.

Cuomo says gyms can open as soon Aug.24, but should be opened by Sept. 2.

Gyms and fitness centers have been anticipating more guidance from the state on reopening, since they were excluded from Phase 4, which was the final stage of reopening.

Guidelines for gyms include operating at 33% capacity, ensuring proper ventilation and air filtration, and requiring masks at all times.

Cuomo says local health departments must inspect gyms prior to opening, or within two weeks of reopening, to ensure all requirements are met.

"The localities have a role here. They have to inspect the gyms before they open or within two weeks of their opening to make sure they're meeting all the requirements. That variation is to give localities time, if the localities need it. If the localities can get the inspections done or be ready to inspect, then they can open up Aug. 24," said Cuomo.

The localities will also determine whether or not each gym is allowed to hold indoor classes.

Here is a full breakdown of the state guidance:

  • Capacity: 33% occupancy limit.
  • Access: Sign-in with contact information. A health screening will be required.
  • PPE: Appropriate face coverings will be required at all times.
  • Distancing: Six feet of separation at all times.
  • Hygiene/Cleaning: Cleaning and disinfecting supplies will be available to customers; shared equipment will be 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 and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
  • Inspection: Local health departments shall inspect before or within two weeks of the gym/fitness center opening to ensure compliance.

Gym owners say they are excited to open their doors after months on being closed.

“This is a day we’ve all been waiting for, all gym owners and gym goers," Alex Carbone, the owner of The Fitness Mill in New York Mills said. "All of our members have been asking me for five months now when we can open and we finally got a date which is wonderful.”

He says he's not really worried about the guidelines.

"The advantage that The Fitness Mill has is that we have a very large facility, so 33% capacity is going to be a lot of people in our gym," Carbone said.

New York Coronavirus Cases

County data is updated nightly.

Confirmed Cases: 491771

Reported Deaths: 33418
CountyConfirmedDeaths
Queens758537290
Kings741147381
Bronx547924985
Nassau490422208
Suffolk483992019
Westchester398901470
New York354593192
Rockland17581683
Richmond169291094
Orange13342505
Erie12705713
Monroe6992300
Dutchess5403163
Onondaga5222207
Albany3516136
Broome326283
Oneida2644128
Ulster245095
Niagara2016101
Putnam178063
Sullivan171448
Schenectady153050
Chemung15103
Saratoga126517
Rensselaer106442
Steuben92957
Chautauqua86813
Columbia66738
Ontario62935
Oswego6074
Tompkins5850
Madison55217
Tioga51230
Cortland4880
Greene48818
Cattaraugus4476
Warren44533
Wayne4085
Herkimer38010
Orleans37954
St. Lawrence3794
Otsego3785
Genesee3775
Fulton36124
Chenango3587
Cayuga3512
Washington32714
Livingston2668
Allegany2641
Montgomery2614
Clinton2325
Jefferson1970
Essex1950
Wyoming1775
Delaware1667
Seneca1393
Schuyler1110
Yates1077
Schoharie1040
Franklin790
Lewis680
Hamilton160
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