Area gyms reopen for indoor workouts

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Trish Kaelblein of Point Pleasant [right] and Kelsey Florzcak of Manchester [left] worked out at Anytime Fitness when it reopened for indoor use on Tuesday, Sept. 1. [DANIELLA HEMINGHAUS]

POINT PLEASANT — Area gyms and fitness facilities have once again opened their doors to members after months of being closed due to the coronavirus pandemic. 

Gov. Phil Murphy last week signed an executive order permitting gyms and health clubs to reopen their indoor premises to the public on Tuesday, Sept. 1.

“I can’t even tell you how I feel. Any little bit is a chance to get back to normal, especially when you are at the point where you don’t even think you’ll be able to reopen, and we were at that point,” said Janice Lauria, of Anytime Fitness.

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Following the announcement, another gym, Therapeutic Fitness, posted on Facebook, “Alrighty! Finally, this Tuesday, Sept. 1, we get to open [our] studio but we have some restrictions and guidelines that we have to follow.”

Under the state Department of Health’s Executive Directive, gyms and health clubs reopening are required to adhere to numerous health and safety standards including, among others, limiting occupancy of any indoor premises to 25 percent of the maximum capacity; conducting a temperature screening and questionnaire of staff and clients upon entrance to the facility; limiting indoor group activities to no more than one individual per 200 square feet of accessible space or less; requiring workers and customers to wear face coverings at all times; and demarcating six feet of distance between equipment, or blocking off equipment, to maintain distancing between individuals.

“Gyms are among the most challenging of indoor environments … but, given where we are in this fight, we believe we are ready to take this step forward,” Gov. Murphy said in a recent briefing. 

“I know this has been a long time coming and I thank the many … responsible gym owners who have done the right things and worked with us over the past several months.”

In its post on Facebook, Therapeutic Fitness addressed how they would be adhering to the guidelines released by the state.

“First, we are limited to the number of people in the studio per class, five is our limit and you will have to use our Punch Pass app to reserve space in a class. You will have to sign in and out of the studio per state requirement,” the post reads.

“We will be spaced six feet apart. You must wear a mask, and we will not share equipment and all equipment must be sanitized in-between uses. All sanitizing products will be provided for you. We will be doing additional cleaning in-between class and the studio is fogged each evening to assure your safety and health.

“We are excited to have you return to the studio and we will be expanding our class schedule as needed.”

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