Reopening date for gyms still not set as New Jersey continues to move forward

Many businesses around the state have begun to reopen in some fashion – but gyms have so far not been included in the reopening plans.

News 12 Staff

Jun 23, 2020, 9:39 PM

Updated 1,398 days ago

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Many businesses around the state have begun to reopen in some fashion – but gyms have so far not been included in the reopening plans.
The delay and lack of information has been frustrating for gym owners – many of whom say they have been hard at work to implement safety protocols for members.
Stu Rosenstein owns Ovox Gym in Marlboro. He has already installed Plexiglas sheets around workout stations, and even in the locker room.
“I had to make sure when someone was on the equipment, they didn’t feel claustrophobic,” he says.
Rosenstein says that the gym constructed workout “huts” after learning about how COVID-19 spreads and realizing that one might have trouble wearing a mask while working out.
“I think my partner Steve saw in Italy they were building these Plexiglas huts on the beach and we started talking about it,” he says.
Rosenstein says that he agrees that gyms weren’t ready to reopen in April, even when many other gym owners were arguing for reopening.
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“If you’re going to say a gym is as safe as a retail store, it’s a lie,” he says.
But he says that now is the time, and he is imploring Gov. Phil Murphy to at least offer a reopening date.
“Without the precautions we put in, it is complicated. I get it. But to not even give a date, to not give guidelines that if certain protocols are met I’ll let you open, we are just sitting here twiddling our thumbs,” Rosenstein says.
Rosenstein says that in addition to the Plexiglas, he is taking more precautions. Gym members must have their temperatures checked and sign paperwork saying that they promise to towel down all equipment. They must also say if they have been sick. Members will have to wear masks in certain areas when not working out.
Ovox Gym currently offers free outdoor workouts for members. All employees have not had to go on unemployment during this time.
“They’ve been taking care of us since Day 1 that we went into quarantine,” says trainer Dani Weitmen. “I’m extremely grateful for it.”
Rosenstein says that his staff comes first. He says that he has seen some gym franchises like 24-Hour Fitness and Gold’s Gym file for bankruptcy. He says that this will not happen at Ovox.
“We are not closing. We are going to fight the fight, but it’s also about what is right. And what is right is we should have a date,” he says.
The Murphy administration has not made any mention as to when gyms may be able to reopen.
 


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