Gyms, Pools in South Carolina can open Monday, May 18th: How to Stay Safe

  • By cvbizz
  • May 12, 2020
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Governor Henry McMaster today announced that close contact service providers, fitness and exercise centers, commercial gyms, and public or commercial pools will be able to open in a limited capacity on Monday, May 18th. The governor called for:

  • Guidance on social distancing within businesses, including recommended capacity requirements
  • Additional cleaning and sanitizing guidelines for equipment, tables, chairs, etc.
  • Additional guidance on health checks for employees
  • Additional guidance on training for employees

Whether you head back to the gym is a personal choice. However, here are some things to consider before that first workout.

“With our increased capacity for testing the people of our state, it is time to responsibly and gradually get these small businesses back up and running,” said Gov. Henry McMaster. “We have an opportunity to set an example for the rest of the world by reinvigorating our economy while staying safe, but we can only do that if South Carolinians continue to follow the advice and recommendations of our public health experts.”

Points to Consider Before Heading Out

The best way to prevent COVID-19 is to avoid exposure. If you go out, wear a cloth face covering. Keep a distance of about 6 feet from others if COVID-19 is spreading in your community, especially if you have a higher risk of serious illness. Avoid close contact with anyone who is sick or has symptoms. Also, avoid large events and mass gatherings.

Gyms don’t necessarily pose a risk greater than any other public space. Based on the research so far, COVID-19 appears to spread primarily through close personal contact with an infected person, though public health officials warn that touching high-contact public surfaces could potentially lead to disease transmission, too.

Things to Consider When You Return to the Gym

Before going to the gym, call to see if it’s limiting how many members are allowed in at the same time. You might have to reserve a block of time in advance, with staff cleaning the facility between blocks. Feeling sick? Skip the workout! Also, feel free to ask about the facility’s cleaning and disinfecting policies and whether you’ll be able to use the locker room or bathroom.

While you are working out, be aware that objects in the gym be a reservoir for the Covid-19 virus. This is why it is very important to maintain a safe distance from other gym members, wipe down all equipment prior to use and wash your hands thoroughly after you work out. Also, refrain from touching your face during the workout.

“Heavy breathing during exercise won’t shed the virus,” says Manish Trivedi, M.D., director of the division of infectious diseases and chairman of infection prevention and control at AtlantiCare Regional Medical Center in New Jersey. “It’s coughing or sneezing [onto others or onto nearby exercise equipment] that we’re concerned about,” he says.

Manish Trivedi, M.D., director of the division of infectious diseases and chairman of infection prevention and control at AtlantiCare Regional Medical Center

Your gym will likely enforce social distancing by blocking access to every other cardio machine.

Are pools safe?

There’s no evidence the new coronavirus can be spread to people through the water in pools, hot tubs, spas or water play areas, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
CDC Pool Guidelines

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