Last month, Governor Andrew Cuomo announced that gyms throughout New York State would begin reopening in late August and early September.
Since the Covid-19 pandemic hit the city in mid-March, Upper West Siders have managed to get exercise through a variety of means including virtual programs, private training sessions, and outdoor group fitness classes.
As infection rates have continued to decline and outdoor fitness enthusiasts begin to wonder what they’ll do during the coming cold winter months, the reopening of gyms has prompted questions about what safety measures and precautions businesses are taking on behalf of their members.
Under the current guidelines, gyms are limited to 33 percent of their total capacity.
Members and staff are required to wear masks at all times and gyms must undergo inspections by local authorities to ensure that air filtration systems and sanitization techniques are in accordance with CDC recommendations.
For now, Mayor Bill de Blasio has allowed gyms like New York Sports Club, Equinox, and the Marlene Meyerson JCC health club to move forward, but he has not yet approved the reopening of some boutique fitness studios, indoor pools, or group classes within gyms.
With these changes in mind, the West Side Rag decided to investigate what Upper West Siders can expect as they return to fitness facilities around the neighborhood.
New York Sports Club West 73rd Street.
On a recent Saturday afternoon, approximately a dozen members could be seen working out on the first floor of the New York Sports Club on West 73rd Street.
He confirmed the gym had passed a ventilation test administered by the city and that staff members were maintaining rigorous cleaning and sanitation practices every two hours by completing a disinfection checklist of all equipment, locker rooms, and high-touch surfaces such as door handles and faucets.
Chen noted the gym’s reopening has received an enthusiastic response from members and newcomers alike.
As of Monday, September 14th, Town Sports International, the parent company of New York Sports Club and other gym chains, filed for bankruptcy.
JCC members can look forward to the facility reopening on September 21st.
According to Melissa Donovan, Chief Operating Officer, Health and Wellness, the facility has gone to great lengths to ensure members will benefit from thoughtful and efficient safety measures.
Following each 90-minute workout block, all members will exit the floor and the JCC will close for 30 minutes to conduct a deep cleaning before the next 90-minute workout block opens to the following group.
Members can expect touch-less temperature checks and enhanced cleaning and sanitization procedures which incorporate the use of electrostatic spray disinfection.
The JCC nursery school will utilize one entrance while fitness members use another.
Timed workout reservations and health declarations will be required of each individual in advance of their visit to the JCC health club.
“Of course, they are asking lots of questions about reopening timelines and what to expect when they arrive at the building, but by and large, our members are expressing confidence and excitement to return to the JCC.”.
Margo McCann in the Pure Barre studio.
While large gyms like New York Sports Club, Equinox, and the JCC have been granted approval to begin reopening, boutique fitness studios like Pure Barre on Columbus Avenue between W.
Margo McCann, Franchise Owner of Pure Barre Columbus Avenue remarked that she and other boutique fitness studio owners are anxiously awaiting the green light from city authorities.
McCann felt that the delay in reopening boutique fitness studios like hers was based on a misconception of what a Pure Barre class entails.
McCann has made adjustments to the studio in recent months and is prepared to move forward as soon as boutique fitness studios are permitted to reopen.
Other Upper West Side Gyms.
While other large health clubs around the Upper West Side including the West Side YMCA and Equinox on Columbus Avenue and W.
Equinox has published new “house rules” for all members.
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