‘People need their workouts’: Despite restrictions, gyms prep for Phase Two reopening

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RICHMOND, Va. (WRIC) — Governor Ralph Northam says that Virginia’s percentage of positive coronavirus tests continues to trend downward.

As a result of that progress, the governor says ‘most of the state’ will enter Phase Two of “Forward Virginia” on Friday, June, 5. Under the Phase Two guidelines, indoor dining will be allowed in restaurants at half capacity, museums and botanical gardens can reopen, as well as swimming pools and gyms with indoor and outdoor exercise instruction.

That’s good news for some Henrico County residents who tell 8News they’re ready to get back in the gym.

“People need their workouts, more now than ever,” said Christian Morganti, a regional manager for Gold’s Gym in Henrico and Midlothian. “They need a distraction. They need a sense of community.”

Under Phase Two, gyms can reopen at 30 percent capacity. Morganti says he is allowing up to 130 people inside the facility at once. 

“Our systems are equipped to alert us if we are coming to a certain capacity,” Morganti said.

Mats are being placed down for social distancing and signs will restrict equipment use. Additionally, a 10 person limit per class will be enforced. Instructors will also set out and put away an individual’s weights.

“I think people miss us enough to adhere to our guidelines and still want to come back,” Morganti said. 

Gold’s Gym is using in-house electric static spraying to put a protective layer on workout equipment. The spray will also act as a disinfectant. According to Morganti, equipment will be cleaned before and after a person uses it. 

“We just want to be as safe as possible and keep our members as safe as possible,” Morganti said.

The city of Richmond and Northern Virginia will remain in Phase One. Governor Northam says he needs more time to look into the data before the city of Richmond and Northern Virginia can enter Phase Two. 

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