As Northern Virginia enters Phase Two of the state’s reopening plan on Friday, gyms in the region are preparing to open their doors once again.
“We’re excited to be able to get people back in the gym,” said Justin Case, owner of Underground Athlete in Fairfax County.
He said the stay-at-home orders were a big hit to business, though online workout sessions allowed him to keep paying his staff.
As the gym sat empty, Case said he has been preparing it for the day it could reopen. With the gym on the smaller side, and only catering to training sessions made by appointment, he said the changes he has made have not been that difficult to implement.
REOPENING PLANS AROUND THE REGION
- Northam: Northern Va. to enter Phase Two on Friday
- Most of Md. to resume indoor dining with restrictions on Friday
- Prince George’s Co. to enter Phase Two on Monday
- Elrich: Montgomery Co. likely to enter Phase Two ‘sometime next week’
- DC not ready for Phase Two yet
Case said clients will have their own portion of the gym to work out in to promote social distancing. In those sections, hand sanitizer will be readily available and all the equipment will not have been used by others since they were last sanitized.
“There will be a 30-minute break in between sessions, so we’ll be able to sanitize the areas before the next group comes in,” Case said.
Everyone must wear a mask, Case said, and members will be required to enter the gym and exit it using different doors. Also, everyone will have their temperatures checked when they come into the gym.
“I think everybody kind of gets it — that they’ve got to keep that distance and they know that we’re learning as we go as well,” Case said.
He added that he has also installed a new air filtration system at the gym due to concerns about the airborne-nature of the virus.
Case said, right now, the gym’s members fall into three different camps: some are ready to return, others want to see how the first couple weeks go, and the final group wants to continue training virtually.
He said he and his staff are ready for those who are willing and able to return.
“I know the energy will be there and people just want to kind of get back to something that they had positive in your life, so hopefully, we can be that for them,” Case said.
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