Planning To Reopen - Updated MA Safety, Fitness & Health Clubs Part 3 of 3
Lower risk Massachusetts communities have been permitted to move into Step II of Phase III of Governor Baker's reopening plan. The Commonwealth defines "Lower-risk communities" 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.
Staffing And Operations Cont.
- Clearly designate staff responsible for sanitizing, cleaning, and supervision during each shift
- Workers must stay home if feeling ill
- If the employer is notified of a positive case at the workplace, the employer shall notify the local Board of Health (LBOH) in the city or town where the workplace is located and assist the LBOH as reasonably requested to advise likely contacts to isolate and self-quarantine. Testing of other workers may be recommended consistent with CDC or DPH guidance and / or at the request of the LBOH
- Post notice to workers and visitors of important health information and relevant safety measures as outlined in the Commonwealth’s Mandatory Safety Standards for Workplace
- Close or mark lockers to enforce 6 feet social distancing, especially in locker rooms. Lockers should be sanitized after each use. Gyms should provide sanitizing wipes near the lockers or in the locker room
- Individual and communal shower areas may open but should be limited to 50% capacity. Social distancing of at least 6 feet is required for all individuals in shower and locker room areas. Showers that accompany pools may follow guidance for pools located on the Reopening Website
- Require that towels be stored in clearly labeled (clean vs. soiled) sanitary containers. Appropriate temperatures should be used when washing and drying towels. Employees must wear proper protective equipment (gloves and face covering) while handling towels. Towels should not be shaken out
- Operations of related services may be allowed to open and must follow sector-specific safety protocols for each setting. Some examples include:
- In-facility child-care: Must follow child-care guidance
- Bars/food services: Must follow restaurant guidance
- Pools: Must follow pool guidance
- Athletic facilities (e.g., tennis courts): Must follow adult and youth sports guidance
- Massage: Must follow close contact personal services guidance
- Saunas, hot-tubs, and steam rooms: May not open before Phase 4
- Fans should not be used indoors and should only be used for outdoor classes if directed away from other customers
- For indoor and outdoor sports guidance, please refer to the EEA Reopening Site
Recommended Best Practices
- Consider creating “shifts” for customers engaging in unstructured exercise (i.e., open weight rooms) by using a reservation system in order to enforce occupancy limits
- Workers who are particularly high risk to COVID-19 according to the Centers for Disease Control (e.g., due to age or underlying conditions) are encouraged to stay home
- Encourage workers to self-identify symptoms or any close contact to a known or suspected COVID-19 case to the employer
- Encourage workers who test positive for COVID-19 to disclose to the workplace employer for purposes of cleaning / disinfecting and contact tracing
- Consider setting aside specific hours of operation exclusively for vulnerable populations
- Limit employees to discrete work zones to minimize overlap where possible
Cleaning And Disinfecting
- Clean commonly touched surfaces in restrooms (e.g., toilet seats, doorknobs, stall handles, sinks, paper towel dispensers, soap dispensers) frequently and in accordance with CDC guidelines
- Conduct frequent cleaning and disinfection of site (at least daily, and more frequently if feasible)
- Keep cleaning logs that include date, time, and scope of cleaning
- Conduct frequent disinfecting of heavily transited areas and high-touch surfaces (e.g., doorknobs, handrails, equipment, etc.)
- In the event of a positive case of a worker, customer or vendor shut down site and wait 24 hours before cleaning and disinfecting of the workplace in accordance with current CDC guidance
- Disinfect all fitness equipment or mutually-touched objects (e.g., spin shoes, jump ropes, dumbbells, etc.) immediately after each use. At no point should customers come in contact with objects that others have touched without first being disinfected according to CDC guidance
Recommended Best Practices
- Open windows and doors to increase airflow where possible
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!