Rockland Officials Urge Gyms To Get Pre-Opening Inspections Done

Beatrice J. Doty

Rockland officials remind the managers of gyms and fitness centers that they must be inspected in order to reopen following pandemic protocols.

“Exercise is good for your physical and mental well-being. RCDOH will work to ensure gyms and fitness centers are following state guidelines with their reopening plans to help mitigate the risk of the spread of COVID-19 at their facilities,” said County Health Commissioner Dr. Patricia Ruppert.

As of Thursday, there were six people hospitalized in Rockland County with confirmed or suspected new coronavirus infections, according to the county’s dashboard. There have been no deaths from COVID-19 since mid-June.

Under New York’s guidelines, centers including gyms, yoga/Pilates/barre studios, workplace fitness centers, hotel fitness rooms, higher education fitness centers, and group fitness classes/studios, are allowed to re-open at 33 percent capacity starting Monday.

First, though, the Rockland County Department of Health must inspect them for compliance with the state’s COVID-19 guidance:

Find complete guidelines and requirements here.

Managers or owners are encouraged to contact the health department as soon as possible to schedule a day and time for the inspection. Email [email protected] or call 845-238-1956.

The following documentation must be available at the time of inspection:

  • Business safety plan that demonstrates compliance with the guidelines.

  • Proper certifications for the air handling system.

  • Proper signage.

  • Logs for cleaning and disinfection.

  • Daily log of staff and visitors.

  • Any policy or procedure not included in the safety plan template needed to demonstrate compliance with state guidelines.

Deficiencies identified during inspections may lead to the delayed reopening and/or closure of facilities.

“We know that many local gyms have been waiting for this chance to reopen and allow their members to work out while protecting their health and safety,” said County Executive Ed Day. “Thank you to our Department of Health for working with these facilities to make sure these re-openings are done safely and in compliance with the state guidelines.”

Andrew Alfano, CEO of Retro Fitness, thinks the state needs to do more than just allow gyms to reopen.

“Retro Fitness is a 100% Franchise Organization with every health club owned and operated by a small business owner, whose livelihoods have been interrupted with no financial relief. While we are pleased to hear New York’s announcement for the reopening of health clubs, we must request that Governor Cuomo provide immediate financial assistance for losses health clubs sustained from mandating their closure for 154 days,” he told Patch. “We also strongly propose that both Governor Cuomo and Governor Murphy create a new statewide initiative that promotes the importance of exercise, health and fitness as a method of ensuring future public safety. We look forward to working with both states to help these small business owners, keep people healthy and improve their relationships within the industry.”

This article originally appeared on the Nyack-Piermont Patch

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