Gyms in New York to Reopen, Albeit with Masks and Other Safety Protocols

By Kurt Stolz on 17 August 2020
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A swimmer working out at a N.Y. fitness center before the pandemic

Fitness centers and gyms, which have been closed in New York since mid-March, will be allowed to reopen on August 24, albeit at 33% capacity, announced Governor Andrew Cuomo. All gyms will have new protocols in place to prevent the spread of the coronavirus.

Those working out will be required to wear masks at all times, observe social-distancing protocols, and sign in so as to allow for contact tracing in the event of an infection.

“We started with the most essential businesses that posed the least risk, and then it was a gradation,” the governor said in a news briefing Monday, noting that the restrictions would be “difficult” for gyms, which have been lobbying for the right to reopen since the first phase of the state’s reopening.

Gyms will be required to install special MERV-13 filters in their air conditioning systems. MERV, or Minimum Efficiency Reporting Value is a measurement scale that reports the effectiveness of a filter.  MERV-13 filters are generally used in hospitals and can remove tiny particles from the area including droplet nuclei from a cough or sneeze.

Local officials across the state will inspect gyms to determine if it is safe for them to hold group classes.

(Photo: Accura Media Group)

Accura News

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