Boston was a week behind the rest of the state when it came to Governor Charlie Baker’s Phase III of Massachusetts’s phased COVID-19 reopening strategy.
In Boston, businesses that were eligible to reopen in Step One of Phase III but subject to industry-specific rules concerning capacity and operations, included movie theaters and outdoor performance venues; museums, cultural and historical sites; fitness centers and health clubs limited to 40 percent occupancy; as well as certain indoor recreational activities with low potential for contact, according to Mayor Martin Walsh.
“Boston is taking this step one week later because of the size of its population, density, and the size of our commercial, hospitality, and other sectors,” said Mayor Walsh.
While Jamaica Plain doesn’t have movie theaters many in the neighborhood were excited that Mike’s Fitness on Amory Street has reopened its doors.
Many stuck at home have complained about the so-called “COVID-15” a play on the virus’s name and the 15 lbs many claim they gained during quarantine.
Ahead of their opening, Mike’s Fitness invited the Boston Public Health Commission for a walk through the gym. Gym management thought it was important to do this before reopening.
“As we start to reopen the gym our first priority is to keep all our members and staff safe and healthy,” said the gym in a letter to members. “We will be following the guidelines the state provides for gyms to start to open. This will include social distancing, the wearing of masks or face coverings and disinfecting. Please bear with us as we navigate the reopening process. We will have new and different rules than we did before the shut down.”
Gym management said members should be prepared for changes and new protocols on a regular basis like capacity limits and limited hours of operation.
“The building is requiring that only two people be in the elevator at any given time,” the letter continues. “The front entrance will be open for use of the back stairwell. When entering the building a mask/face-covering is required. If you do not have one, masks will be available for sale. You will not be allowed to work out in our facility without a mask. Masks are mandatory.”
When members check in to the gym a temperature must be taken. If your temperature is 100 or above, you will not be allowed in the gym.
“We understand that it is summertime and the walk into the gym might make your temperature rise and can retake it within 10 minutes,” said the letter.
Gym capacity will follow the state recommendations on how many members can be in the facility at one time.
“If required by the state, we will implement appointment only workouts,” said the letter. “We are exploring opportunities to schedule times for people to be in the gym which would help address gym capacity and contact tracing should it be needed.”
All areas in the gym will have disinfecting wipe dispensers strategically placed so members can wipe down equipment once they finish using it. All benches, free weights, plates, weight stacks, dumbbells and barbells must be wiped down.
“Basically, if you touch it you need to wipe it down,” said the letter.
Mike’s Fitness has added a night cleaning crew working to help ensure that the facility is kept clean and safe.
“We are aware that Mike’s Fitness is a place for friends to come and catch up while they work out, however, during this unprecedented time, we are asking each person to complete their workout within a 90 minute timeframe,” said the letter. “This is a temporary measure as we phase into our reopening.”
Mike’s Fitness has also purchased a fogger machine to deep clean the facility on a daily basis during the off or closed hours.
“This is an unprecedented time and our goal is to offer our members a safe environment with rules and regulations put in place to protect everyone’s health and well being,” said the letter. “We must all do our part and be diligent in maintaining a safe environment for everyone.”