As we move toward a phased reopening of fitness facilities, club owners are putting together their plans for operating in the new normal. In an environment where a vaccine is still some time away, avoiding transmission of the COVID-19 disease is job number one, and that means having a solid cleaning strategy in place.
Some unexpectedly positive news came out of the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) on May 20. The CDC’s updated guidelines now say that the virus “does not spread easily” from touching surfaces or objects. As this new information begins circulating, people may be more inclined to worry less about exercise equipment and benches being infected. Person-to-person contact continues to be the most common way to spread the disease, so sanitizer, social distancing, and protective gear will still be part of any business’ COVID-19 strategy moving forward.
As outlined in a recent article, “Cleaning, Disinfecting, & Sanitizing Your Gym During Covid-19,” club owners in Asia who have experience with reopening after quarantine found it important to have members see staff frequently cleaning equipment and surfaces. It’s also important to have plenty of sanitizers and/or wipes available for members to clean up after themselves. You don’t just need to increase cleanliness itself but also the perception of cleanliness.
(For more guidelines on safety measures and other issues during the COVID-19 pandemic, see IHRSA’s coronavirus resource hub, which is continually updated.)