Why Gyms Remain Closed

NY State Has a Re-Opening Plan for Everyone, Except Gyms

On March 7th NY Sate issued executive order 202, declaring a statewide emergency. Gyms were closed down under order modification 202.3 – among the first businesses to be impacted by closures. There have been over 50 executive order modifications since, but none address how gyms ought to operate.

Gyms have no re-opening timeframe, no re-opening guidelines, and no status.

Gyms Have Been Shut Down Since March, No Guidance Available

Even though New York State has issued guidance for a lot of indoor venues like malls, stores, and restaurants, gyms have been deemed unnecessary.

The reason for the continued closure? There have been some reports from other states that air conditioning may not be cleansing the air and that more information is needed.

Cuomo said the state is studying whether droplets infected with the coronavirus can be inadvertently spread via air conditioning in crowded indoor spaces before making a determination on gyms.

"We are still looking at the science and the data.” “

"We’ll continue to monitor that situation, and when the facts change we will let you know.”

But communications issued by NY State do not mentioned that that CDC has already issued guidelines for how business with air conditioning systems should operate.

There Is No Phase 5

Just days before Phase 4, the last Phase, went into effect, gyms were abruptly removed – and there’s no Phase 5.

When asked whether AC systems in large buildings could spread the virus, Cuomo stated, "Our Department of Health is trying to determine if there is any filtration system for air conditioning systems that can successfully remove the virus from air circulation.”

In early July malls were allowed to reopen provided that they agreed to install higher rated filters and followed CDC protocols including increased outdoor air, reduced air circulation, longer system run times and frequent filter checks. 

Stakeholders following this story can only conclude that quality air filters, frequent filter checks, increased outdoor air, reduced air circulation, and longer system run times is “the science” that we’ve been waiting for - or that buildings and malls have been waiting for.

As for gym goers, “You can think of laboratory experiments and theoretical possibilities of how air conditioning might spread this virus, but so far, there really isn't any noteworthy evidence that this is happening,” said Dr. William Schaffner, a professor of preventive medicine and infectious diseases at the Vanderbilt University Medical Center.

Dr. Amesh Adalja, an infectious disease physician and a senior scholar at the Johns Hopkins Center for Health Security, agreed. “I haven't seen any strong evidence that we're seeing that this is transmitted in an airborne manner.”

Follow The Data and The Science

The CDC and other scientists have issued real guidelines - based on observable data - to help communities and businesses contain the spread of COVID-19 in a balanced and responsible way. These guidelines are issued by professionals with no agenda. This is how we stack up against those guidelines:

Minimize Exposure to High Risk Individuals

Minimize Occupancy to 25%

Maintain Physical Distance

Wear Masks

Post Signage

Provide Orderly Egress

Provide Temperature Checks

Provide Sanitize Stations

Adhere to Daily Screenings

Document Attendance for Potential Contact Tracing

Enable Full Remote Control of HVAC Systems

Replace HVAC Filters with MERV 13 Filters

Displace / Dilute Indoor Air with Natural Air

Supply Close to 100% Fresh Air

Run HVAC System Pre / Post Occupancy

Use Ultraviolet Germicidal Irradiation Technology (optional)

Maintain Critical Business Functions X

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