Maintaining a clean and sanitary environment is top-of-mind for gym owners during the best of times, but during outbreaks fitness facilities may turn to more drastic measures to help keep their members and community safe.
With COVID-19 grabbing headlines and causing concern, institutions ranging from governments to private businesses are considering how to respond. According to the World Health Organization, more than 80,000 people spanning the globe have contracted the novel coronavirus, and with that number expected to grow, Men’s Health reports that many fitness facilities are, for now, following the lead of local and federal public health officials.
“In light of the current health concerns we are stepping up those efforts in each of our gyms and we will continue to watch the situation very closely,” Gold’s Gym president and CEO Adam Zeitsiff told Men’s Health in a statement. “Should it worsen, we will take direction from public health officials and take whatever actions are required in order to protect our members, our team members and the general public.”
Anne M. Mahlum, the CEO of Washington D.C.-based Solidcore, told Men’s Health that her approach could be more regionalized.
“We may see studios in New York close and it could be business as usual for our locations in North Dakota,” Mahlum said. “We will take action and work with every studio to make sure we take necessary precautions on top of what we already do when it comes down to wiping down equipment and encouraging our employees and members to wash their hands.”
USA Today reports that gyms including Equinox, SoulCycle, Flywheel, 305 Fitness and Barry’s Bootcamp have sent emails to members about the outbreak, including details on their plans for cleaning and sanitizing and requests that members stay home from class if they’re feeling sick.
During the outbreak, fitness facilities would do well to remind members of a standard piece of gym etiquette: wiping down equipment after use.