Gov. Andrew Cuomo announced Monday that New York State gyms can reopen Aug. 24, but people in New York City might have to wait to workout. Cuomo left it up to local officials to decide whether it is in their best interest to reopen fitness facilities, and NYC officials say they are not ready.
According to Well + Good, NYC Mayor Bill DeBlasio said he was "very concerned about indoor settings." He told NY-1 "the state was right to make sure that there was local decision making on a lot of important specifics. We are going to be very cautious with that local decision making and choose to take a conservative approach."
Cuomo's orders include a stringent set of guidelines regarding 33% operating capacity, social distancing and recording attendance with a sign-in sheet to be used for contact tracing in case of a breakout. He said, in order for gyms to open, they must pass a city inspection and can open as early as next Monday and no later than Sept. 2.
The mayor's office said it is more important for city inspectors to review schools and day care centers than gyms, making it unlikely that these facilities will open next week.
Gyms have been placed on high-risk lists by infectious disease experts.
According to the HuffPost, Dr. Kelly Cawcutt, the associate director of infection control and assistant professor of infectious disease and critical care medicine at University of Nebraska Medical center, said she was concerned about crowded classes or gyms where the air flow is poor.
"Exercise increases the frequency and depth of breathing, so there is potential impact of increased aerosols at this time," she told HuffPost. Aerosols are the small particles people exhale when breathe or talk that could contain the virus.
"Masks would be ideal, but we also know those can be difficult to wear during exercise and may not be mandated."
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