The 'weight' is over: Gyms reopen under Phase Two

Posted at 7:00 PM, Jun 07, 2020

VIRGINIA BEACH Va. - Fitness enthusiasts are able to make their long-awaited return to the gym because, as of Friday, Hampton Roads is in Phase Two of of Gov. Northam's reopening plan.

“For a lot of people this is a huge outlet for therapy, stress relief," Iron Asylum gym manager Trey Swindler said. "Everyone’s just so excited to get a part of their lives back.”

“One of our members said they felt like a little kid on Christmas," Wareing's Gym General Manager Chris Ullom said. "I had a couple people in tears as they were walking through the door so it’s been pretty special.”

While gyms are open again, there are many restrictions that must be put into place.

Only 30-percent of capacity is allowed, equipment must be cleaned and disinfected after each use, and signage with health reminders is required.

Additional guidelines sent out by the Governor include:
- Ensuring ten feet of separation
- Employees working in customer-facing areas are required to wear face coverings over their nose and mouth
- Hand sanitizing stations
- Facilities must prohibit the use of any equipment that cannot be thoroughly disinfected between uses
- Hot tubs, spas, saunas, splash pads, spray pools, and interactive play features must be closed

Wareing's Gym is able to ensure social distancing and enough time to disinfect surfaces by requiring customers to sign up for certain time slots throughout the day.

“We give you about an hour or so and then we shut everything down," Ullom said. "Clean and disinfect and get ready for the next group to come in.”

Facilities are also expected to screen patrons for COVID-19 symptoms prior to admission.

"We have a check point where we take your temperature with a thermometer gun," Swindler said. "Take a shot of Germ-X, we give you your own personal rag, and your own personal spray bottle and that's gonna be your to use throughout the gym. We have spaced out ten feet markers all throughout the gym to kind of give you an idea of where you need to be for social distancing.”

Gym patrons will gladly accept added precautions if it means returning to their routine for the first time in months.

“As a former athlete, just being here as much as I have in my life, it’s back to routine," former professional baseball player Colin Roberson said. "Everyone wants to find those routines to get back to.”