Life Time Fitness in Garden City is one fitness facility that has already reopened its doors to the Nassau County community. (Photo courtesy of Google Maps)

Gyms and fitness facilities in Nassau County are preparing to reopen their doors with heightened safety protocols and measures to ensure that their patrons and staff members remain safe and healthy while they work out.

Susan and Peter Karika, owners of the Training Station Athletic Clubs in Port Washington and Glen Cove, released a statement saying they were “happy to announce” their facilities will begin to reopen after Gov. Andrew Cuomo gave permission two weeks ago.

“As with everything we do here at the Training Station Athletic Clubs, we will be going above and beyond what is expected from us, providing all of our clients the safest experience when they resume their workouts,” the statement said.

The centers, according to the statement, are retraining their staff in preparations to reopen on Thursday.  They also said they will be in full compliance with the state-mandated health and safety guidelines.

Protocols that will be enforced for every facility include a 33 percent capacity at all gyms, wearing a mask at all times, social distancing of six feet, cleaning and disinfection supplies available for patron use at all times, and classes by appointment or reservation only. The gyms must also use air filters with a designated efficiency.

“We have added electrostatic spraying supplies for our maintenance staff to be used multiple times per day,” the statement said.  “Coupled with our normal cleaning schedule, all areas of the gyms will also be anti-fogged throughout the day. With all of these new systems in place, we are confident that we have met and surpassed the expectations of the CDC and DOH,” referring to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the Department of Health.

Cuomo said local elected officials have the option to delay the reopening of the facilities until Sept. 2 to provide local health officials time to conduct inspections.  Officials are also permitted to delay the resumption of indoor fitness classes beyond Sept. 2.

“The localities have a role here. They have to inspect the gyms before they open or within two weeks of their opening to make sure they’re meeting all the requirements,” Cuomo said. “The local elected will make the decision in a jurisdiction and the local health departments must inspect before or within two weeks to make sure the guidelines are in place.”

Life Time Fitness, with several locations throughout Long Island, including Garden City, released a statement stressing the importance of patrons’ health and well-being as the reopening process began this week.

“The safety of our members and team members is what’s most important. Life Time has always been dedicated to delivering a healthy way of life to our communities, and with a carefully planned and phased approach, we will begin to reopen,” the statement said.  “Each of us will play an important role in making your club a safe experience for us all.”

Cameron Duff, 24 Hour Fitness’ district manager for New Jersey and New York, said the facilities will have some closed amenities as the business monitors the state’s guidelines.

“Right now, the amenities are closed … the pool area, the wet area, the showers. Locker rooms are open,” Duff said. “Obviously, we’re enforcing the four W’s … Wear a mask, wash your hands, wipe down your equipment, work out six feet apart.”

Bill Lia, chairman of the state’s Fitness Alliance, said gyms throughout the state are rapidly preparing for reopenings, but are doing so cautiously to avoid further setbacks.

“The New York State Fitness Alliance thanks Governor Cuomo for his continued leadership in reopening the economy in an intelligent way,” Lia said. “The fitness industry is ready to reopen safely, with proper protocols in place to protect our employees and members. We look forward to providing New Yorkers access to safe fitness facilities so they can advance their physical and mental health.”

Gyms were initially slated to be in the fourth phase of reopening, which included media production, professional sports games with no fans, and low-risk indoor and outdoor arts and entertainment. Cuomo announced on June 24 that malls, movie theaters, schools and gyms had not yet been given the green light to reopen by the state.

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