Is COVID in your GYM? Of course it is, it’s everywhere. If your gym is telling you differently, then they are lying! What matters more is how they are handling it. Do they have planned action steps in place or are they unprepared and winging it?
As you know, the nation is spiking with cases and we are here in Maryland as well. By now I’m sure it’s safe to say that everyone knows someone who has contracted the virus.
Here at Everlasting Fitness we have had a few members test positive. Those members did the right thing and let us know. We notified the class they were last in (if applicable) and anyone that they were in direct contact with individually. To our knowledge we have had zero transmission issues.
We have sectioned off 24 blocks, 7ft x 12ft for everyone to have their own space while working out in class. Every station has a 45# and 35# barbell, 225lbs of weights, a pvc pipe and access to a squat rack. If the workout calls for an extra piece of equipment like a bike, rower, kettlebell or box the athlete will own that piece for the duration of the class. At the end of class everything is wiped or sprayed down with disinfectant, the floor is cleaned and is left fresh for the next class to come in 30 minutes later.
Masks are required in every portion of the gym except for the athlete’s designated workout area. We deem it a hazard to exercise with a mask on and do not require it. However, if someone chooses to, that is their right.
We ask that everyone wash their hands frequently and to abstain from coming to the gym if you do not feel well regardless of the symptoms.
Cleaning supplies and hand sanitizer have been expensive and hard to find but we have secured enough to get us through the winter. Our members and coaches have been a crucial part in our success during this time as they take pride in our facility and community by helping clean their station after workouts.
Our next step was to institute temperature checks when athletes come into the building. This has been going extremely well and we appreciate everyone’s willing participation!
Recently we took another preventative measure and acquired a CO2 monitor for the gym. While CO2 levels aren’t correlated to COVID transmission risk, they are a proxy metric that tells you how often the air is exchanged in the gym. If our CO2 levels are lower, we have better air exchange and thus lower risk of COVID transmission. What we have found is with our 10,000 sq ft facility, our CO2 levels are normal even when the gym is closed up. When we have the doors cracked and the fans on, our CO2 levels are almost equivalent to being outdoors. Yes, we know it’s cold out and the doors are cracked but we think it’s a good trade off!
Overall, 2020 has been a rough year and full of new challenges for gyms. Some gyms did not survive the summer, others will not survive this winter. The ones who took action, embraced change and kept their members best interest at heart are the ones who will come out on top. We are all anxious for a better 2021 and we will do everything in our power to provide a safe, supportive, encouraging place for you to make lasting bonds and build Everlasting Fitness.
Coach Bret Lurz