LOS ANGELES - After getting state approval, residents in Los Angeles County were allowed to return to gyms and to get into pre-quarantine shape with restrictions starting Friday.
Gymgoers have been forced to find alternative ways to stay fit when gyms were closed shortly after the coronavirus pandemic hit The Golden State.
Other sectors also set to reopen are day camps, professional sports without live audiences, museums, galleries, zoos, campgrounds and hotels for tourism.
Results Fitness Center in Sherman Oaks is one of many fitness centers that reopened its doors. The owner, Leo Frincu, admitted he was hit hard financially.
“It’s been brutal. Overnight, basically, your income is cut to zero, but the bill’s don’t stop coming…it’s been overwhelming keeping up with bills,” he said.
Frincu said gym capacity will be cut in half under physical distancing guidelines.
“I like to get close to people and now I can’t,” he said.
In Orange County, Rock City Climbing in Anaheim Hills also reopened its doors.
"I think this coming Sunday will be exactly three months that we’ve been closed. As a business owner, as a coach, as a father, you just want to work. You want to have your business open to the public and share your passion with the world," said Rock City Climbing Owner Maurice Cureton.
“We’re doing what we can to keep our community active and safe,” Cureton added.
Some of the new guidelines for gyms and fitness centers according to California’s COVID-19 website include:
• Having sanitization products, including hand sanitizer and sanitization wipes available at entrances and exits, exercise machines, fitness rooms, changing rooms and locker rooms.
• Providing personal hand sanitizers to staff who regularly engage with patrons.
• Gymgoers will be required to disinfect individual exercise equipment, mats and machines before and after use with disinfecting wipes provided by the gym
• Patrons are encouraged to bring their own towels and mats.
• State health officials suggest facilities consider disbanding the provision of facility-provided towels or personal hygiene products.
• Staff and patrons should avoid shaking hands, bumping fists or elbows, and other physical contact. Staff should also avoid sharing tools, phones, electronics, and office supplies as much as possible and, where feasible, ensure staff have dedicated workstations for their personal use. Never share PPE.
• Equip the front desk area with Plexiglas or other impermeable barriers, if feasible, to minimize the interaction between reception staff and patrons.
• Facilities should consider suspending non-core activities, including retail operations, spa services, childcare, family programming, and food service.
• Evaluate maximum occupancy rules based on the size of the facility to develop a capacity plan that supports physical distancing and limits the number of patrons allowed in the facility at a given time to a number permitting such distancing
• Fitness facilities should consider staffing and other capacity and resource needs to ensure that locker rooms and shower facilities can be cleaned and disinfected regularly throughout the day.
• Fitness facility patrons should be instructed that sinks could be an infection source and should avoid placing hairbrushes and other items 13 directly on counter surfaces
• Fitness facilities with swimming pools or splash pads should take additional steps to ensure those facilities are properly cleaned and disinfected for patron use, according to CDC guidelines.
• Saunas, steam rooms, and hot tubs should remain closed.