Governor Cuomo shut down gyms, fitness, and wellness centers in mid-March while the State scrambled to get an understanding of how to deal with the pandemic. However gym owners like Alex Carbone of the Fitness Mill think the six months it took them to figure things out was way too long.
"Suicide rates gone up, the abuse of drugs and alcohol have gone up. It’s really been tough because this is therapy for a lot of people that have addictions and needs for a gym to keep their sanity."
Prior to reopening, gyms, fitness and wellness centers must review and affirm New York State guidelines, have a business plan in place, and contact their local Health Departments to schedule an inspection. Oneida County Executive Anthony Picente says the Health Department has 2 weeks to get all the inspections completed. It’s a tight schedule, and the County would like the gym owners to schedule an appointment as soon as possible.
"After that it’s going to be you know the honor system, but then obviously if complaints come in we’ll inspect and determine as we do with other businesses."
Several gym owners say they’ve had more than enough time to get a solid safety plan ready to go, and Alex Carbone is no exception.
"So we’ve appointed supervisors inside of the staff that will absolutely be responsible to make sure everybody’s sanitizing before and after use, keeping their distance, watching the sign in sheet, making sure over capacity, so we’ve got all those responsibilities delegated."
Should another outbreak happen in Central New York the County Executive now has an argument for designating gyms and fitness centers as essential businesses.
"You can make easily the argument that it’s an essential function of health and wellbeing, especially in an area that has high risk of heart disease and diabetes and weight issues that clearly are a factor."
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