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Roanoke gyms prepare for phase two reopening

Gyms and fitness studios throughout Virginia have spent the last few months empty, but that will soon change as most of the state moves into

Phase Two of reopening Friday.

“It means gyms and fitness centers can have indoor classes and workouts at 30 percent of their capacity,” said Gov. Ralph Northam during his Tuesday press conference.

Duane Ellis, the owner of Elite Health and Fitness, says that 30-percent limit will not impact his small gym nearly as much as others, but they will use a ‘one-in, one-out’ system once the gym reaches capacity.

“We’re not like the big chain gyms where you have thousands of members, so it’ll probably affect them a lot differently, so 15 to 20 people here is about normal,” said Ellis.

He, and other owners across the state, will have to make sure anyone who enters their gyms has a temperature below 100.4 degrees, is cleaning all the equipment between each use, and is staying at least 10 feet apart from others.

“It’s important for us to stay open, so just like we’re opening up right now, we want to be able to stay open, so we’re available for the members, so it’s extremely important and we take it very seriously,” said Lea Geiger, a personal trainer at Elite.

Over at Carilion Wellness, they’re not quite ready to re-open Friday, but they are preparing to open soon and will be following similar protocols.

They’re also moving equipment to other rooms to space it 15 to 20 feet apart, and adding cleaning areas for equipment that needs to be sanitized.

“What we have done is we have utilized the space in our building, we have a very large building, and so that has allowed us to space out our equipment even more than what is recommended by the governor,” said Julie Moore, Carilion Wellness’ senior director of operations.

At Elite, they will be scaling back their hours from 24-7 to 8 a.m. through 8 p.m. for the time being, to make sure there’s always an employee monitoring the door and letting people in and out.

Carilion is eyeing a re-opening date for sometime in the next two weeks, but they are not quite ready to announce it yet.

Donald Wolfe

Donald’s writings have appeared in HuffPost, Washington Examiner, The Saturday Evening Post, and The Virginian-Pilot, among other publications. He is a graduate of the University of Virginia. He is the Virginian Tribune's Publisher.

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