Local fitness centers will welcome guests back Monday, but they are doing it with caution. Those itching to exercise at the gym again can expect a variety of changes, including temperature checks, limits on workout time, closed saunas and increased cleaning efforts.
The Owensboro Health Healthpark Fitness Center will reopen with normal operating hours but restart services in phases.
“Our reopening strategy is based on guidance from the Medical Fitness Association and our medical professionals here at Owensboro Health,” said Collette Carter, director of the Healthpark. “The MFA recommends that we proceed with caution during the first phase of our reopening, so our capacity is based on maximizing the amount of square footage per visitor.”
Monday’s reopening includes the fitness floor, locker rooms and pool areas, but other services such as group classes, personal training, swim lessons and massage will be reintroduced later.
A maximum of 30 people are allowed on the fitness floor, and no more than five people can be at each at the two pools. Guests are limited to one hour at the Healthpark, and tags will be given out for the one-hour period on a first-come, first-serve basis. All members must use the main entrance and temperature checks will be required.
“This will temporarily limit the number of guests who can be present at one time, but it will also help us to ensure a safe, healthy environment. Most of our members have greatly appreciated this approach,” Carter said.
Iron Jungle Family Fitness owner Jennifer Berry said they will operate at 33 percent capacity, which is still nearly 200 members at a one time.
“We will have the least impact of any area fitness facility due to the fact we have the largest workout area in the tristate,” Berry said. “We’re looking forward to opening.”
The cardio area will have every other machine unplugged. Steam rooms and child care will be closed until they are allowed to reopen by the state.
Berry said because of COVID-19, they introduced a free towel service that members can use to wipe down machines before and after each use.
Group classes will have a limit of 10 per class and will be available through reservations.
“I’m expecting it to be like the new year again on Monday,” Berry said. “(Messages are) insane, we can’t keep up with them. So we are expecting to have quite a bit of people. Everybody is excited to get back.”
While the staff is required to wear masks, guests aren’t recommended to wear them while exercising.
The Owensboro Health coronavirus hotline is available 24/7 by calling 877-888-6647. Call the hotline before seeking in-person care. More information from OH can be found here.
For the latest information and data on COVID-19 in Kentucky visit kycovid19.ky.gov or dial the Kentucky state hotline at 800-722-5725.
For the latest health guidelines and resources from the CDC, visit their website here.