New Jersey gyms, health clubs cleared to reopen at 25% capacity Sept. 1

Gov. Phil Murphy says gyms and health clubs in New Jersey can reopen at 25% capacity from their COVID-19 pause Sept. 1.

News 12 Staff

Aug 26, 2020, 1:20 PM

Updated 1,332 days ago

Share:

Gov. Phil Murphy says gyms and health clubs in New Jersey can reopen at 25% capacity from their COVID-19 pause starting Tuesday, Sept. 1. 
Murphy said Wednesday the change had been “a long time coming,” but was on hold because indoor facilities presented risks for the spread of the virus.
“Gyms are among the most challenging of indoor environments, as noted by multiple epidemiologists and experts, even in the past couple of days,” Murphy said. “But given where we are in this fight, we believe we are ready to take this step forward."
Gym owners have been struggling over the past five months to stay in business amid the shutdown.
Billy Olson owns 18 Planet Fitness locations in southern New Jersey. He says that all of his locations will be reopening on Tuesday with new COVID-friendly designs.
“We’re going to be working morning, noon and night, as they say. We will be ready,” Olson says.
Two weeks ago, Olson opened an outdoor gym at his Haddon Township location, with gym-goers flocking to come work out.
“I was doing a lot of YouTube videos, but it just wasn’t the same. I miss lifting and using the machines and all that,” says Alexis Sample of Vineland.
But working out indoors means more restrictions. At the Planet Fitness locations, all machines must be spaced a safe distance apart and yellows signs indicate that some machines cannot be used. Masks will be required and the gym will keep a log of members for contact tracing.
And when it comes to cleaning, Olson says, “We’ve been cleaning before anyone, essentially. That’s part of our DNA.”
The New Jersey Department of Health will be releasing guidance on cleaning and other protocols later. But Olson says that safety is non-negotiable.
“If someone doesn’t follow the protocols, either staff or team member or a member there, they won’t be here anymore,” he says. “We are going to take our responsibility very seriously.”
The governor’s announcement also applies to indoor amusement facilities. Murphy says there were about 300 positive cases reported overnight, putting the total at over 190,000. He says there were 11 deaths reported overnight, putting the toll at 14,134.
The Associated Press wire services contributed to this report.
 


More from News 12
Man who set himself on fire outside Trump trial dies of injuries, police say

Man who set himself on fire outside Trump trial dies of injuries, police say

2:19
Scattered rain showers overnight; sunshine returns Saturday afternoon

Scattered rain showers overnight; sunshine returns Saturday afternoon

1:42
Police: Marlboro teacher accused of inappropriately touching student faces charges

Police: Marlboro teacher accused of inappropriately touching student faces charges

0:32
Man who lit himself on fire outside Trump trial has ties to New Jersey

Man who lit himself on fire outside Trump trial has ties to New Jersey

0:56
Graffiti of former Palestinian militant Leila Khaled found spray-painted at Rutgers University

Graffiti of former Palestinian militant Leila Khaled found spray-painted at Rutgers University

0:09
Police: 2 men critically injured in Newark shooting

Police: 2 men critically injured in Newark shooting

2:16
Public warned to keep their dogs away from seals at the Jersey Shore

Public warned to keep their dogs away from seals at the Jersey Shore

0:59
Jersey Proud: 3 men running the length of New Jersey for ‘Dylan’s Wings of Change’ charity

Jersey Proud: 3 men running the length of New Jersey for ‘Dylan’s Wings of Change’ charity

0:35
Tesla recalling nearly 4,000 Cybertrucks because accelerator pedal can get stuck

Tesla recalling nearly 4,000 Cybertrucks because accelerator pedal can get stuck

1:01
New Jersey water companies make plans to adapt federal ‘forever chemical’ guidelines

New Jersey water companies make plans to adapt federal ‘forever chemical’ guidelines

1:54
Authorities: 2 children at Port Reading school become sickened after ingesting marijuana gummies

Authorities: 2 children at Port Reading school become sickened after ingesting marijuana gummies

2:45
Business owners say they are losing business due to Route 71 bridge being stuck in up position

Business owners say they are losing business due to Route 71 bridge being stuck in up position

1:42
Prosecutor: Remains found at Wall construction site were of ‘advanced age’

Prosecutor: Remains found at Wall construction site were of ‘advanced age’

0:27
Prosecutors: Atlantic City’s Central Pier bursts into flames; 1 man dead

Prosecutors: Atlantic City’s Central Pier bursts into flames; 1 man dead

0:25
Boil water advisory issued for parts of Monmouth County

Boil water advisory issued for parts of Monmouth County

0:48
Ridgewood mayor shares photos showcasing renovation of former Warner Theater

Ridgewood mayor shares photos showcasing renovation of former Warner Theater

1:37
Officials: Some Marlboro schools, Trenton Board of Ed receive bomb threat 2nd day in a row

Officials: Some Marlboro schools, Trenton Board of Ed receive bomb threat 2nd day in a row

0:31
Start of Sen. Bob Menendez's bribery trial is delayed a week to mid-May

Start of Sen. Bob Menendez's bribery trial is delayed a week to mid-May

0:35
How to get rid of unused or expired medications

How to get rid of unused or expired medications

Show off your team spirit! Share your photos with News 12

Show off your team spirit! Share your photos with News 12