Gyms and fitness centers may resume operations on May 4, 2020, under certain guidelines established to protect the health and safety of employees and patrons, Governor Asa Hutchinson announced at his daily press briefing yesterday. Under these guidelines, gyms and fitness centers must implement precautions such as use of face masks except when exercising, daily temperature checks for employees and patrons, and social distancing of at least 12 feet while exercising.

“I am pleased that Arkansans will be able to resume physical activity at their local gyms,” Governor Hutchinson said. “There are still limitations on the use of these facilities, but if carefully observed, I am confident we will be able to return to our normal exercise routines soon. I look forward to resuming my weekly game of pick-up basketball once all restrictions lift, but until then, it’s important that managers, employees, and patrons carefully follow the guidelines as they resume operations.”

Gyms and fitness centers must meet the following criteria to resume operations on May 4:

  • Screening must be completed on entry for all staff and participants. Those who have any of the following characteristics should not be allowed to enter:
    -Have returned from travel to New York, New Jersey, Connecticut, New Orleans or overseas within the last 14 days;
    -Have had a fever of 100.4°F or greater in the past two days;
    -Have a cough, difficulty breathing, sore throat, or loss of taste or smell;
    -Had contact with a person known to be infected with COVID-19 within the previous 14 days;
    -Have compromised immune systems and/or have chronic diseases.
  • Staff should wear a face covering or mask at all times. Patrons should wear a face covering except when actively exercising.
  • Prohibit the use of pools, spas, showers, saunas, etc. at this time. Locker rooms are to be used only for storage of personal items. Maintain physical distancing while in locker rooms.
  • Hand sanitizer should be available throughout the facility.
  • Staff should ensure that all exercise machines or equipment are sanitized after each use (via wipe-down with disposable disinfectant wipes, Lysol or the equivalent).
  • Maintain proper spacing from others by working out with 12 feet between each person. This may require closing or moving some equipment.
  • Avoid personal contact at all times, including handshaking.
  • Individual training sessions, indoor group fitness classes, and workouts that require a partner must maintain 12 foot spacing between each person at this time.

Find the Arkansas Department of Health directive for reopening gyms, fitness centers, athletic clubs, and weight rooms HERE.


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