Local residents who value physical fitness as part of their healthy lifestyle are slowly returning to gyms.
For Erin Eatmon, it’s the next logical step in returning to life as it was before the COVID-19 pandemic.
“We kind of just have to move forward,” Eatmon said after her workout at Big Sky Fitness in New Britain Sunday.
The New Britain resident was confident in the gym’s new cleaning protocol, implemented per state regulations guiding the reopening.
“It’s great in there; super clean,” she said. “I feel safe coming in.”
In addition to limiting capacity by half and requiring staff and members to wear masks unless exercising more than six feet away from others, Big Sky is also using a brand new sanitizing product.
“I think we’ve gone above and beyond other gyms with the cleaning,” front desk associate John Sasso said. “We introduced a new product called Millennium 64 Q. It targets COVID-19 specifically. It was recommended to us by our cleaning supplier.”
Although fitness facilities were permitted to reopen June 17, they are still prohibited from opening shower areas for the time being.
At The Edge Fitness Club in Bristol, that also means the sauna is closed.
“We shut down our cardio equipment, showers and sauna,” assistant general manager Rico Camacho said.
“We know how many people are in here on a minute-by-minute basis and we’re limiting our capacity by half,” he added.
Members are required to wear masks at all times, while strength training and using any of the equipment.
“It’s going pretty solid,” Camacho said of the facility’s reopening. “We’re seeing a lot of our members again.”
Bristol resident Aidan Krok was happy to score a good parking spot upon his arrival Sunday.
“It’s been pretty empty; I can actually find parking,” he said. “Yesterday was my first day back.”
Those who are returning to their workout routines are doing so safely, staff and members have observed.
“Everyone is following social-distancing,” Krok said. “I feel more comfortable here than I do at other places.”
The Edge staff sanitize everything every half hour and in between use.
Camacho hasn’t had any issues enforcing the mask rule.
“Everyone is understanding,” he said. “We wear masks going to the grocery store and other places, so it’s just part of the routine now.”
Erica Drzewiecki can be reached at email@example.com