ROCKVILLE CENTRE, N.Y. (CBSNewYork) — Gyms, fitness centers, health clubs, and yoga studios claim COVID-19 protocols are in place to keep both members and employees safe.
Owners are fighting Albany for the right to immediately reopen.
But would you feel safe going back to your indoor gym? CBS2’s Jennifer McLogan talked to people on both sides of the issue on Tuesday.
“Personally, I wouldn’t have a problem going to a gym,” one Long Islander said.
Across the area, gym owners want to hear that and many are signing on to a class action lawsuit demanding they be included in Phase 4 of New York’s reopening plan.
“We’ve spent tens of thousands of dollars trying to fortify the club and be COVID compliant,” said Dennison Silvio of Sportset Health & Fitness in Rockville Centre.
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Sportset is among those with a comprehensive safety plan, including advanced computerized temperature screenings, ultraviolet sterilization, vaporized heat cleaning, and it removed most of the treadmills and stair climbers.
“We have 12 pieces of cardio equipment up there six feet apart,” Silvio said.
“What we are simply asking is the state, the governor, work with the local counties, local townships, to allow these businesses to reopen,” Hempstead Town Supervisor Don Clavin said.
Medical experts worry about the indoor spread of coronavirus during sweating, even with masks.
“If you’re on a treadmill, an elliptical, a stationary bicycle or breathing hard, you’re expelling many more droplets, aerosols that might be virus laden,” CBS2’s Dr. Max Gomez said.
“We all know what we’re talking about with the big box gyms. Our facility is strictly one-on-one personal training,” said George Mifsud of G2 Training in Syosset.
Personal trainers say they should be deemed essential. They can train outdoors, too.
“Stress and anxiety and depression are at an all-time high right now,” said G2’s Gregoria Myer.
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Not everyone shares the same enthusiasm to see gyms reopen soon.
“So much breathing going on, I wouldn’t go to a gym right now,” one person said.
“I think it would be too risky,” another added.
And there’s one more thing to worry about. Legal experts say if your gym remains closed, you should be exempt from paying dues. However, if it reopens and strictly follows local and state guidelines, you are most probably bound by your contract.
For now, many fitness centers are allowing members to pause or freeze their memberships.
A spokesman for Gov. Andrew Cuomo said government is “continuing to study how and when indoor gyms and fitness centers can open safely. New Yorkers need to remember we are still in a global pandemic.”