One “bonus” of COVID-19 quarantine has been weight gain.
The “quarantine 15” though is now on the hitlist for Sunflower County folks as area gyms have received the go-ahead from Gov. Tate Reeves to reopen.
Each location has plenty of social distancing and sanitizing restrictions but are glad to open the doors to their clients who have missed working out and fellowshipping.
Mario Watkins, owner of Snap Fitness, Felicia Lampkin, owner of Body Works & Tan and Brannon Walls, owner of Turn Row Fitness are all excited to get back to working out.
Gyms opened on Monday.
“We had a nice crowd,” Lampkin said. “It wasn’t back to normal. It’s still limited with people practicing social distancing. Our facility is 10,000 square feet, so it’s safe. When you go to Walmart, you’re in closer proximity to people than you are in the fitness center.”
Equipment is being wiped down and extra precautions and sanitizing is a constant.
“We wipe down the glass and door handles as well to keep everybody as safe as possible,” she said. “It’s good to get back to something.”
Lampkin kept office hours during the quarantine of her business to be available to her clients who have health problems.
“Many of them were on a detox while they were out,” she said. “Some actually lost five to ten pounds drinking the green smoothie. Most are complaining that they gained weight. I gave them a guide to go walking and some guide to do 30 minutes to an hour of activity either walking or biking.”
Watkins opened his doors on Tuesday of this week with limited hours.
“We won’t be 24 hours but will be 6 a.m. to 10 p.m. and we can only have a certain amount of people in at once,” he said. “You can only workout for an hour and then you have to leave but I don’t have a problem if someone wants to come back and work out again during the day.”
And even with having his own cleaning and sanitizing supplies on hand, Watkins is encouraging his clients to bring their own with them as well to make sure everyone stays protected. He has plenty of space in the nearly 15,000-square-foot facility.
“We may run out, so bring your own just in case,” he said. “We’ll have some there but if we have a nice crowd come in that stuff will leave fast. We’ll have a thorough cleaning. We still have social distancing.”
Walls has kept his classes below the suggested 10-person mark and has ample space for them to spread out and work out.
“Before this even started, we continually wiped down our equipment and used disinfectants,” he said.
The former Mississippi College baseball and football athlete opened his facility in 2015. The 3,200-square-foot workout space has plenty of creative workouts.
“We do a lot of Olympic movements. We do a lot of singular modality such as rowing, biking, running, jump rope – things that get our heart rates up.”
The details of the governor’s Emergency Order last week pertaining to gyms includes the following:
• Before they can reopen, the entire gym must be deep-cleaned, disinfected, and sanitized top to bottom. After opening, gyms must be deep-cleaned daily.
• All gyms are expected to take every step necessary to implement the regulations, orders, and guidance from the Mississippi State Department of Health and CDC to prevent the spread of COVID-19.
• Gyms must close to the public by 10:00 p.m. each day.
• In addition to other gym staff, there must be at least one employee onsite during hours of operation dedicated to wiping down equipment after each use.
• All high-touch areas must be sanitized at least once every two hours.
• Exercise machines and equipment must be rearranged and/or deactivated to ensure at least six feet between customers.
• Gyms must post signage at each entrance stating no customer with a fever or COVID-19 symptoms are allowed in.
• Hand sanitizer must be placed at all entrances and throughout the gym floor.
• All common areas must remain closed.
• All employees will be screened daily at the beginning of their shifts, including asking whether they have been in contact with a confirmed case of COVID-19 in the past 14 days and have they had a fever in the last 48 hours.
• Face coverings must be provided to all employees who come in direct contact with customers. Employees are required to wear that face covering throughout their shift and clean or replace daily.
• All employees must be provided training on how to limit the spread of COVID-19.
• Every employee on the gym floor must wear disposable gloves to be changed at least once an hour.
• No more than 30 percent of the gym's maximum capacity. Gyms are encouraged to limit customers' time to a max of one hour per day.
• Classes or group exercises are allowed with customers maintaining a minimum of a six-foot distance apart.
• Customers must sanitize their hands when entering and exiting the gym and when they move between equipment.