Miami Valley gyms prepare to reopen May 26


CENTERVILLE, Ohio (WDTN) – Gyms and fitness centers across the Miami Valley are preparing to reopen May 26 with new safety measures in place to try to prevent the spread of COVID-19.

Lt. Gov. Jon Husted announced Thursday that gyms and fitness facilities in Ohio will be allowed to reopen May 26.

This comes days after a group of Ohio gyms filed a lawsuit against the state.

State guidelines for reopening safely will be released by Friday, according to a spokesperson for the governor’s office.

“This has been a big hit for, not just us, but all small businesses, all gym owners independent,” said Michael Brunett, the owner of Club 51 Fitness in Centerville.

Two months ago, Brunett suspended all 2,300 memberships to his gym. Now, he’s getting ready to reopen in less than two weeks.

Each piece of strength training equipment in his facility is already spaced six feet apart, he said. Only every other cardio machine will be active, and free weights will be sanitized every 15 minutes, he added.

“We have gallon jugs of sanitizer that will be available at the desk,” Brunett said. “We have sanitizer throughout the gym.”

Brunett also plans to cut class sizes by 50 percent to allow for social distancing.

Steve Zubrzycki, the owner of CycleBar in Miami Township, told 2 NEWS he plans to do the same thing.

“We typically have 48 bikes,” he said. “We’re probably going to cut that in half. And so the bikes will be spaced out six feet apart.”

Wipes and gloves will be available to members, and the machines will be completely cleaned between each class, Zubrzycki said. Clients will check in on their phones instead of the iPads near the front desk, he added.

Zubrzycki told 2 NEWS he has also upgraded the facility’s ventilation system.

“In a normal class that’s 45 minutes, all of the air in the studio will be re-sanitized four to five times,” he explained.

Both business owners told 2 NEWS they’re optimistic many of their clients will return.

“We have some very loyal members, and they’ll see us through this,” Brunett said.

Both Brunett and Zubrzycki told 2 NEWS their staff members will be wearing masks, but they are not requiring customers to wear them, acknowledging it’s sometimes challenging to wear a mask while working out.

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