Planning To Reopen - Updated MA Safety, Fitness & Health Clubs Part 1 of 3
Last Monday, October 5, lower risk Massachusetts communities will be permitted to move into Step II of Phase III of Governor Baker's reopening plan.
Lower-risk communities are defined as cities and towns that have not been designated in the “red” category in any of the last three weekly Department of Public Health weekly reports. Click here to see the list of communities not designated as lower-risk communities.To assist business owners we will be sharing highlights of the State's Updated Safety Standards and Reopening Guidelines for impacted sectors.
NOTE: COVID-19 is highly transmissible. Individuals should follow these universal precautions regardless of the extent of mitigation needed:
- Follow healthy hygiene practices
- Stay at home when sick
- Practice social distancing
- Use a cloth face covering (with some exceptions) in community settings when physical distancing cannot be maintained.
The current state of the COVID-19 pandemic is continually evolving. What is true today may not be tomorrow. At this time, the evidence suggests schools have not played a significant role in COVID-19 transmission and that children, particularly younger children, are less likely than adults to be infected with COVID-19.
As always, work with your local health officials to determine a set of strategies appropriate for your community’s situation.
(See our Planning to Reopen series of blogs for more information regarding CDC, EPA, FDA, Mass EEA, Mass DESE, and OSHA safety requirements). To review the administration's reopening guidance from the state click here. To view Governor Baker's full report click here).
Fitness Centers And Health Clubs
The state of Massachusetts defines Fitness Centers and Health Clubs as any fitness facility that provides access to and/or instruction of personal fitness training, including but not limited to fitness activities such as:
- Weight and resistance training
- Spin classes
- Boot camp training
Indoor and outdoor athletic facilities, such as those for gymnastics, tennis, and swimming (whether a standalone facility or part of a Fitness Center or Health Club) must follow the Youth and Adult Sports guidance and the Pools guidance, available on the EEA Reopening Site.
Social Distancing And Capacity Limits
- Require face coverings for all workers and visitors, except where unsafe due to medical condition or disability, or when engaging in strenuous fitness activity in accordance with the rules below
- Customers wearing face coverings during fitness activity must maintain physical distancing of at least 6 feet. If customers cannot wear a face covering during strenuous fitness activity, distancing of at least 14 feet must be maintained,
- In Phase 3 Step 1, each facility must monitor visitor entries and exits, ensure social distancing, and limit occupancy at all times to:
- 40% of the facility’s maximum permitted occupancy as documented in its occupancy permit on record with the municipal building department or other municipal record holder
- Facilities for which no permitted occupancy limitation is on record may allow 8 persons per 1,000 square feet of accessible indoor or outdoor space
- In any case, no enclosed space within the facility shall exceed occupancy of 8 persons per 1,000 square feet
- In Phase 3 Step 2, each facility must monitor visitor entries and exits, ensure social distancing, and limit occupancy at all times to:
- 50% of the facility’s maximum permitted occupancy as documented in its occupancy permit on record with the municipal building department or other municipal record holder
- Facilities for which no permitted occupancy limitation is on record may allow up to 10 persons per 1,000 square feet of accessible indoor or outdoor space
- In any case, no enclosed space within the facility shall exceed occupancy of 10 persons per 1,000 square feet
- All occupancy counts and calculations shall include visitors, staff, and other workers
- Arrange all equipment (weights, machines, treadmills, bikes, etc.) so exercise areas are spaced out at least 14 feet apart. If spacing of equipment is not possible, equipment must be blocked off or closed to maintain 14 feet of distancing. Spacing of machines may be adjusted to at least 6 feet apart if barriers are installed
- Consider installing plastic barriers between equipment where possible. Barriers must extend high enough to effectively block respiration from someone using the equipment. If barriers are installed, they must be cleaned regularly.
- In group fitness classes, 14 feet of physical distancing must be maintained between attendees at all times. If physical barriers are installed to separate group fitness equipment, 6 feet of physical distancing must be maintained
- Install visual markers (boundaries, walkways, signage, etc.) to encourage customers to remain at least 6 feet apart while moving throughout the space
- Establish directional pathways to manage visitor flow for foot traffic, to minimize contact (e.g., one-way entrance and exit to rooms, oneway pathways). Post clearly visible signage regarding these policies
- Stagger lunch and break times for workers, regulate the maximum number of people in one place and ensure at least 6 feet of physical distancing between workers
- Close or reconfigure common spaces and high-density areas of facilities where workers are likely to congregate (e.g., break rooms and eating areas) to allow 6 feet of physical distancing
- Close or reconfigure other common spaces where customers are likely to congregate or where social distancing is not possible, such as lobbies and waiting areas
- Install physical partitions in areas where physical distancing is not possible, such as service counters
Recommended Best Practices
- Consider installing plastic barriers between equipment where possible. Barriers must extend high enough to effectively block respiration from someone using the equipment. If barriers are installed, they must be cleaned regularly
- Consider establishing “workout zones” to encourage spacing of customers using free weights, dumbbells, etc.
- Contactless payment and sign-in methods are encouraged
While the administration continues to work with communities to implement best practices and protocols for reopening our schools we will continue to share with you guidance from the CDC, EPA, FDA, Mass EEA, Mass EEC, Mass DESE, and OSHA and the Governor's office to follow as we prepare for the new school year.
Also, we at SERVPRO of Framingham know that not every community has access to the resources necessary to meet the strict cleaning guidelines to ensure a safe environment for our children. For those communities, we are here to help!
Certified: SERVPRO Cleaned
The Disaster Remediation Teams at SERVPRO of Framingham are specialists in cleaning services and we adhere to the highest cleaning and sanitation standards. We are prepared to clean and disinfect your schools, according to protocols set forth by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. We have years of experience in dealing with biological contaminants, and we will go beyond the scope of work of "normal daily cleaning". Call SERVPRO of Framingham today for a free consultation - (508) 370-4400.
All of us here at SERVPRO of Framingham want you and your loved ones to stay safe and know that we will make it through this together! Rest assured, we will continue to do our best to keep you up-to-date and informed!