ODH releases guidelines for gyms, dance studios to reopen


COLUMBUS (WCMH) — The Ohio Department of Health has released its guidelines for gyms and dance studios in the state to follow in order to reopen. 

On Thursday, Ohio Lt. Governor Jon Husted announced that gyms fitness centers, recreation centers, dance studios and tennis clubs will be able to open on May 26. 

The guidance includes limiting capacity for classes and work out areas. Gyms will also need to allow at least a six foot radius around users and “reinforce spacing through training with employees, and reinforcement with members/clients.”

There will be no lost and found and gyms will need to remove excess seating in waiting areas. 
Ohio’s safety guidance goes on to require hand washing and sanitizing when enter the building. Staff will also need to sanitize surfaces consistently.

Even with these guidelines, some people aren’t ready to head back to the gym. Robert Sellan is a fitness instructor in Westerville and says he will continue to teach his classes on Zoom for the next couple of months until coronavirus case numbers go down.

“Some people feel they can just go back in and they’ll just be a little more cautious. Some people aren’t going back for awhile and that was mostly what I heard from my little bubble or circle of clients,” said Sellan.

Sellan started teaching his fitness classes on Zoom soon after Governor Mike DeWine closed gyms and fitness centers on March 16. 

“At first I was like no one’s going to want to do this, we’re stuck in our homes. Are they really going to log on and listen to this music on their phones or a tablet? And I’m just completely in awe every class of how many people are signing up,” said Sellan. 

Sellan says it was feedback from his clients that made his decision to wait before heading back in the gym an easy one.

“I wanted to see how they felt and I need to respect how they want to go back into the world basically and it wouldn’t make sense to go back if nobody is going to come back,” said Sellan.

Not everyone has enjoyed getting creative with their workouts but Sellan says “the new normal” hasn’t been so bad. 

“It’s different but in good ways, like we’re all practicing safe social distancing, we’re limiting our exposure but I didn’t know how connected I would feel to people and I’m connecting with people that would never have been able to take my class before,’ said Sellan.

Sellan offers several time slots for his classes and says the first one is free for anyone who wants to give it a try. 

Coronavirus in Ohio resources:

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