State releases reopening guidelines for gyms, fitness centers


PROVIDENCE, R.I. (WPRI) — The state of Rhode Island remains on track to enter Phase 2 of Gov. Gina Raimondo’s reopening plan on June 1, which includes gyms and fitness centers.

On Wednesday, the R.I. Commerce Corporation continued its series of Facebook town halls to answer sector-specific questions for gyms, restaurants and personal services.

At the 10 a.m. event with gym owners and members, a detailed plan of the guidelines these facilities must follow was released.

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Upon reopening, gyms will be required to conduct contact tracing. Every time someone enters the facility, they must provide their name and phone number so the gym knows who is going into the building.

Each gym must also verbally screen every visitor and staff member before they enter the building.

The use of masks is required while working out unless six feet of social distancing can be maintained easily and continuously. If people are engaged in fitness activities and cannot tolerate wearing a mask, the physical distance between each person must be increased to 14 feet as respiratory droplets can spread further during vigorous activity, per CDC guidelines.

Masks that are worn during exercise should be made of moisture-wicking, breathable materials — polypropylene, polyester — which are available to be purchased. The fitness industry has provided guidance on the subject of materials for masks for use when exercising:

Activities where social distancing cannot be easily, continuously, or measurably maintained, are not permitted in Phase 2. Any activity involving physical contact between individuals is also not permitted. Boxing, wrestling and martial arts classes can open for non-contact only.

Small-Group Fitness Classes (e.g. Yoga, Cross-Fit, & Spin):

  • It is encouraged to keep cohorts consistent (i.e. the same individuals attend the same class, so that attendees are not with different individuals each class)
  • In a class setting, capacity is limited to 15 individuals (not including fitness staff) or up to 1 person per 150 square feet (whichever is less) so long as social distancing requirements can be enforced
  • Instructors must adhere to social distancing guidelines for the duration of the class

For Unstructured, Open Gym Settings:

  • Capacity is limited to 1 person per every 150 square feet
  • It is recommended that businesses designate staff members to provide sanitizing, cleaning, and supervision with a focus on high-touch objects during each shift

Outdoor fitness that can guarantee social distancing for the entire workout is allowed.

Water-filling stations or water fountains will not be allowed and locker rooms must be closed. Individual showers will be allowed if they can be properly sanitized between each use.

Whirlpools, saunas, and steam rooms must also remain closed. Pools must be operated and used in accordance with regulations issued by the R.I. Department of Health.

Read the full list of guidelines for gyms and fitness centers here »

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