Working out a way to reopen
Because the coronavirus is spread by respiratory droplets and the virus can live on surfaces for an extended period of time, gyms will need to clean everything from weights, to machines, to cardio equipment before people return. Frequent cleanings of all equipment will need to be maintained. Gold's Gym says that will include a workout intermission, so cleaning crews can wipe everything down.
Gyms will need to limit the number of people who can be in the gym at any time to maintain social distance. Some gyms expect to reduce their maximum capacity by 50% once they get up and running. When classes resume, they will be smaller, too. Some gyms are reporting they will tape out spacing to keep people separated.
When gyms first open, there will likely be limited equipment and access. In Georgia, where gyms have reopened, only cardio and strength training equipment was available for use at first. Basketball courts, group classes, and team activities will be suspended.
Another strategy to keep people spaced out is to move the equipment around. Some things, like free weights, may be moved outdoors to make more rooms for machines inside.
Some gyms are asking people to wear gloves while using equipment to minimize the potential spread of the coronavirus. Some gym owners in states where the facilities have been allowed to reopen are encouraging the practice, but not making it mandatory.
While disposable gloves may be in short supply because of the coronavirus pandemic, hand sanitizer may be strategically placed around the gym in high traffic areas for people to use between exercises.
Bring your own bottle of water, because water fountains will be off limits for the foreseeable future.
Some gyms in densely populated areas are considering asking members to make a reservation to work out. Such a move would allow gyms to keep tabs on the number of people who are in the facility at any given time. It would also keep gyms from having people crowding the reception area, waiting to enter.