As they reopen their doors for the first time in over two months, gyms throughout metro Phoenix are operating with new safety guidelines in place as coronavirus cases continue to rise in Arizona.
On May 12, Gov. Doug Ducey released guidelines for how fitness providers should operate during the pandemic. Recommendations include maintaining physical distancing, limiting occupancy, regularly sanitizing high-touch surfaces and screening employees for symptoms prior to their shifts.
Some gyms and yoga studios have announced further precautions, including requiring members to make reservations for classes and workout sessions, staggering fitness classes and investing in disinfectant foggers.
Here are the new protocols some gyms will be implementing in an attempt to prevent the spread of COVID-19.
Four Life Time Fitness locations in Arizona will open Wednesday, May 20. The Biltmore location in Phoenix opened May 18.
“It became clear that a majority (of Phoenix-based members) were wanting our clubs to open so that they could get back to their health and fitness routines,” Amy Williams, Life Time’s public relations manager, told The Arizona Republic.
- Hours will be adjusted to allow deep cleaning overnight.
- Equipment will be spaced out to allow social distancing.
- Reservations will be required for group fitness classes.
- Classes will be spaced 30 minutes apart to allow for cleaning.
- Every other shower will be available in locker rooms.
- There will be cleaning stations throughout the gym to encourage disinfecting equipment before and after use.
- Game play will not be initially permitted on basketball courts.
- Staff members’ temperature will be checked before each shift.
Mountainside Fitness’ 18 clubs reopened Monday, May 18. Members will not be charged membership fees until June 1. Other changes include:
- Sanitizing stations will be available throughout the club.
- Staff will continuously disinfect high-touch areas.
- Every other cardio machine will be turned off to enable social distancing.
- Towel-cleaning temperatures were raised to 150 degrees.
- Fitness classes, which will have limited capacities, can be booked 12 hours in advance.
- More classes will be added to the schedule.
- Employees will have their temperatures checked before working and disposable masks will be available to them. They must wash their hands every hour.
- Children will have their temperatures checked before entering child care. Anyone with a temperature above 99.9 degrees will not be allowed inside.
Planet Fitness said it will take a wait-and-see approach, with no projected opening date yet.
“While we look forward to reopening and welcoming you back into the club soon, after careful consideration, we have decided to remain closed as we continue to evaluate local guidelines and restrictions,” Planet Fitness said in an email to members.
Here’s what the clubs will be doing:
- Some cardio and strength machines will be closed off to maintain social distancing.
- Equipment will be sprayed with disinfectant.
- Cleaning stations will stay stocked with paper towels and disinfecting spray.
Sweatshop on Central, Central Avenue and Camelback Road in Phoenix reopened Monday, May 18, with some modifications in place. For those who are not comfortable attending a class, the online video library will remain open, with more livestream options in the near future. Other updates:
- Bring your own mats and towels, and other equipment.
- Spaces for mat placement will be marked.
- Instructors will not give hands-on adjustments.
- Class sizes will be limited.
- Pre-Registration will be required for all classes.
- Classes will be staggered to prevent crowding of the lobby.
- Shower facilities will be temporarily closed.
Perhaps the biggest change at Tangible Fitness is the fact that members who want to work out can no longer drop in. They will have to book a reservation ahead of time to use cardio equipment and weights.
- Reservations will be required. Members can book one 90-minute workout session per day, two weeks in advance, on their app.
- Capacity is limited to 30 people working out at a time.
- Hospital-grade sprays and sanitizing wipes will be available throughout.
- Membership fees are up $5 per month, for a total of $35, in addition to a $10 quarterly fee.
- Equipment will be cleaned between each 90-minute session.
YMCAs across the Valley reopened their “wellness floors,” which have cardio equipment and free weights, on May 13. The rest of the facilities will reopen in phases, Shelby Tuttle, communications director, told The Republic.
- YMCAs will maintain cleaning and disinfecting practices according to CDC recommendations.
- Capacities will “initially be reduced” to ensure social distancing.
- Facilities will be temporarily limited to members only.
- Staff will have “wellness checks” upon entering the facility.
- Children in child care programs will receive temperature checks.
- Customer service employees will be required to wear masks.
- Members must bring their own mats and towels.
- Group fitness classes, locker rooms, the Amazing Kids Center and open gym and pools will be phased in at a later date.
Click here to read the CDC’s fitness providers safety guidance.