After a nationwide shutdown due to the 2019 Coronavirus (COVID-19), many states have given the go-ahead to start reopening businesses, including gyms. It’s important to understand how compliance with local, state, and federal guidelines and the actions you take when reopening gyms can play a role in reducing the risk of exposure to COVID-19 for you, your employees, and guests. If your state has given the go-ahead to reopen your facility, here are five things you should consider.
Ensure Social Distancing
To help decrease the spread of the virus, practice social distancing. To make sure these guidelines are being followed, you may need to reconsider the layout of your facility. Does the space between equipment allow for the suggested six feet of distance? If your facility offers fitness classes, determine how many guests can attend while keeping their distance. Floor stickers put in place at check-in, in classrooms, or other areas where lines may form are a helpful visual reminder to guests to maintain social distance.
Implement Symptom Screenings and Face Coverings
Screening guests for symptoms upon arrival can also be helpful in reducing the spread of COVID-19. Ask guests to answer a questionnaire that can determine whether they may be more at risk of having been in contact with the virus and have a dedicated employee use a non-contact thermometer to conduct temperature screenings to check for fever, which can be a sign of illness.
As an added precaution and if not already mandated in your county or state, you may want to consider asking guests to wear a face mask or covering. Face masks can help reduce the spread of the virus among employees and guests, especially in situations where they may be in close contact.
Develop Plans for Disinfection and Cleaning
As a gym owner, you’ve likely always had a plan in place for cleaning and disinfecting the facility and its equipment, but with new guidelines in place and increased risk of illness, it’s a good time to revisit your plan. Ensure machines and equipment are being disinfected daily and after each use, as well as commonly used items such as light switches, door handles, keyboards, and touch screens.
Ask guests to wash their hands prior to beginning their workout and offer hand sanitizer throughout the facility.
Review Emergency Preparedness Plans
Changes to the layout of your facility may mean that automatic external defibrillators (AEDs) were moved. Make sure AEDs are still accessible, employees and guests are aware of where they are located and signage points in the right direction.
To keep up with new guidelines, you may have needed to hire additional employees. Be sure they not only know where emergency equipment such as AEDs, first aid, and bleeding control kits are located but are also trained to use an AED, perform CPR and administer first aid until emergency personnel can arrive.