Area gyms, fitness centers and pools were allowed to reopen Wednesday, Sept. 9. This comes after Gov. Gretchen Whitmer signed Executive Order 2020-176 on Thursday, Sept. 3.
In addition to gyms being allowed to open their doors, organized sports were allowed to resume.
Whitmer also signed an executive order that outlines strict workplace safety measures that gyms and pools must follow to protect people from the spread of COVID-19.
Gyms must require wearing of masks at all times, including times of exercise, configure workout stations or implement protocols to enable 6 feet of distance between individuals during exercise sessions, reduce class sizes to enable at least 6 feet of separation between individuals, provide equipment-cleaning products throughout the gym, and more.
Planet Fitness on Owen Road in Fenton reopened Wednesday. Employees at the Fenton location have worked hard to welcome guests back and to provide a clean, sanitary and judgment free workout members expect, according to the gym’s Facebook page. Because of the local requirements, they are only able to accommodate 138 members at a time and masks are required for members and guests at all times.
Members who paid dues in March, when the governor shut the state down, will have those dues credited toward their first monthly bill.
Coreena Storms of Fenton said her gym, Libratum Strength & Conditioning, is an “awesome gym with amazing coaches.”
Ed McNulty, who owns Tri County Ninja with his wife Megan, said business is going “OK, but no where near as well as pre-covid.”
McNulty said they are starting to see interest return a little bit.
“We were able to host camps and things earlier, but we weren’t classified as a gym in the same way as Planet Fitness. Even though we did get under most of the same restrictions. The governor would allow us to have almost 50 people inside based on occupancy guidelines, but we have instituted a self-imposed cap of 10.”
To offset their lost revenue, the McNultys are offering some distance learning assistance. “We have staff on hand to help the kids with homework
and technical issues, so parents can work and the kids can get socialization until school resumes,” he said.
Nick Rizzo, fitness research director for RunRepeat.com said just 30.98 percent of gym members have returned to their gym, according to a survey involving 5,055 respondents.
The survey showed that Michigan had the least amount of gym members having returned to their gyms since the initial lockdown, with only 10.34 percent returning.
Gym members from Michigan were the third most likely of any state to have already canceled or are considering canceling their memberships (64.66 percent).
Guidelines that facilities must follow:
• Maintain accurate records, including date and time of entry and exit, names of patrons and contact information, to aid with contact tracing; and deny entry to any visitor who does not provide at a minimum their name and phone number.
• To the extent feasible, configure workout stations or implement protocols to enable 6 feet of distance between individuals during exercise sessions.
• Indoor class sizes must be reduced to 10 or fewer.
• Limit capacity in the facility to 25 percent of the total occupancy limits.
• Mandate wearing of facial coverings at all times except when swimming. Face shields are not sufficient.
• Regularly disinfect exercise equipment, including immediately after use. If patrons are expected to disinfect, post signs encouraging patrons to disinfect equipment.
• Ensure that ventilation systems operate properly.
• Close steam rooms and saunas, jacuzzies and cold plunge pools.
Businesses failing to comply with these orders may be subject up to $7,000 general industry safety fines from MIOSHA and penalties from local law enforcement or health departments.