Workout Routines Resume as Minnesota Gyms Reopen
Wednesday was a big day for Jerri Levinson. After nearly three months of being cooped up at home with minimal exercise and social interaction, the 69-year-old Plymouth resident made her long-awaited return to her Life Time.
“I was sick and tired of sitting in my home cause I’m a teacher,” Levinson said. “So I sat from 8 to 4 on a computer all day and I needed to get out.”
She wasn’t alone.
Gyms across Minnesota were finally able to reopen June 10 after a state mandate forced them to close on March 16 in order to limit the spread of COVID-19.
“This morning when I was driving to the club, I teared up because I was like, here we go,” said Ashley Wagner, general manager of the Plymouth Life Time. “This is like an event day. I am so excited to be back.”
Enhanced Safety Protocols
Wagner says that in order to reopen, they had to put a number of safety protocols into place:
- Enhanced cleaning regularly throughout the club, and overnight deep cleaning, using an EPA-registered, hospital-grade disinfectant and virucide that is known to be effective against emerging viral pathogens and human coronavirus, including the virus that causes COVID-19.
- Cleaning stations with disinfectants (in both wipes and spray bottles) throughout the club for members to use before and after exercising on equipment.
- Social distancing measures throughout the club including markings or directions at the front desk, fitness floor, class studios, locker rooms, children’s areas, pool areas and more.
- Dedicated equipment for class participants that is cleaned between classes, in order to promote single use.
- Temperature screening for all team members consistent with governmental orders and guidelines.
- In-club and online seminars, programs and education focused on exercise and nutrition.
In a setting where bodily fluids are a natural part of the experience, gyms have to take extra steps to maintain a safe environment. That’s especially true when it comes to club employees.
“When they first arrive for work, we want to make sure that anyone coming to work doesn’t have a temperature any higher than 100.4° per CDC guidelines,” Wagner said. “Otherwise we have to send them home.”
With these protocols in place, Levinson had no doubts about coming back for day one.
“No, because I knew Life Time would have the distancing, I knew Life Time would have the cleaning, I knew I was going to wear a mask,” Levinson said.
For any Life Time members who aren’t quite ready to come back just yet, Wagner says that they can contact their club and put a temporary hold on their membership.