Beginning Tuesday, September 1, New Jersey gyms are allowed to re-open - a much awaited re-opening for many of New Jersey’s residents. Many are eager but unsure of what to expect getting back into the gym. Below are some frequently asked questions I've received, along with the answers.
My best suggestion is to read the information below, call your gym or even check out their social media accounts before you show up, in order to familiarize yourself with their specific rules.
At what capacity can gyms re-open?
Gyms may open at 25% of their normal capacity, additionally all equipment must be 6 feet apart. Some gyms implemented a reservation system, check with your local gym about their policies.
Do I have to wear a mask while I am working out?
Yes, face coverings must be worn at all times by staff and gym goers. This is part of the executive order by the governor.
What should I expect when I walk into my gym?
Gym goers should expect their temperatures to be taken and a questionnaire be filled out each time you attend. This is done for purposes of contact tracing in the event someone becomes infected.
What happens if someone at my gym tests positive for COVID-19?
The gym must shutdown for 24 hours. After that time the gym must be completely cleaned and sanitized.
What about my gym’s group fitness classes, will these be available upon re-opening?
Depends. Group fitness classes are allowed to resume, but the number of people that may attend each class is limited to the studio size. The ratio is one person per 200 square feet. Gyms with small fitness studios may not be able to resume fitness classes because of this person to space ratio. Others have embraced technology and are offering virtual fitness classes that can be attended in the comfort of your own home.
Will I be able to shower at the gym after my workout?
Depends on the gym.
If the gym has a pool, then showers can be used as long as they are individual showers. Communal showers must have partitions installed at least 6 feet apart. Otherwise, the use of showers is still banned.
Can I use the locker room?
It has been strongly encouraged that gyms keep locker rooms closed, expect for purposes of using the restroom and washing hands. If the use of lockers is permitted, lockers must be marked to insure they are socially distanced at 6 feet.
Sanitizing wipes must also be available in the locker rooms to wipe down the lockers.
My gym has a sauna or steam room; can I use it if I am the only person in there?
No, the use of public saunas and steam rooms are still banned.
My gym has a pool, will I be able to swim?
Yes, gyms may re-open their pools.
What are the rules for equipment sanitizing?
The gym must sanitize everything in the gym 3 times a day. Gym goers must wipe down equipment before and after use. The gym must provide sanitizing materials for gym goers.
Who will enforce these rules?
Enforcement of the governor’s executive orders is left to local authorities.
The bottom line is while there are strict guidelines; your gym may also take extra precautions to maintain everyone’s health and safety. Please be mindful of your gyms specific rules and be kind to gym employees. Regardless of how you may personally feel about COVID-19, the governor’s executive orders and these state guidelines, it is the employees job to enforce them. To keep you, themselves and other gym goers safe.
For more information about gym's re-opening you can check out the NJ State FAQ COVD-19 website by clicking here.
Stay Safe & Get Sweaty,