Fitness centers prepare to reopen in Indiana

Local News

EVANSVILLE, Ind. (WEHT) — With Governor Holcomb’s revised order, gyms and fitness centers originally scheduled to open Sunday, May 24 may now open Friday, May 22. Now that gyms are on the homestretch of their closures, many are excited to welcome people back. However, as eager as they may be to see some familiar faces, some fitness centers say they’re still going to err on the side of caution.

“It was a hard decision for us, we closed both of our studios before we were actually supposed to, we just didn’t feel safe,” said Co-Owner of CycleBar and Club Pilates Jeff Cox.

Now that gyms will soon be reopening, many locations have added new safety measures to promote social distancing, including sneeze guards to protect staff.

“We’ve added a lot of additional signage and reminders for people to stay apart,” said Lisa Verkamp with the Dunigan YMCA.

“Outside our studios we have a hand-washing station and we will ask people to wash their hands before they come in. We’re going to do a temperature check, we’ll have a CDC COVID-19 symptom check and we’re only going to allow 25 in a class, typically we have 50 here,” said Cox.

While group classes at the YMCA and CycleBar will be facing changes, classes at Club Pilates will remain the same. Everyone has their own station during the class, each already 6 feet apart with their own equipment.

“We’re  always going to be a little bit more conservative, we don’t have to have people do temperature checks, we don’t have to have people wash their hands and do things like that,” said Cox.

“A lot of what we do offer seniors are silver sneakers classes in group and social settings like that so we won’t be offering in-person group exercise right off the bat. We’re going to phase that in at a later date,” said Verkamp.

At CycleBar and Club Pilates, staff will wear masks at all times and patrons must wear a mask when entering the facility but may take them off once the workout begins. Masks will be a requirement for staff at the YMCA but not patrons, although staff says patrons are encouraged to wear them too.

“We do plan on continuing to offer our virtual services like our group exercise videos and things like that for the foreseeable future so there certainly are wellness content and options for them if they don’t feel comfortable coming into the facility that they can continue to do at home,” said Verkamp.

“The better that we follow these rules the quicker we’re going to be not wearing masks and back to normal,” said Cox.

Although the fitness center and basketball courts at the Dunigan YMCA will be reopening in a few days, the playground, child care services and pool will remain closed for the time being. Staff also say they still plan to reopen the YMCA on Sunday, despite being allowed starting Friday.

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(This story was originally published on May 20, 2020)

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