Addressing the challenges of operating fitness facilities in the new normal.
You've cleaned, you've socially distanced your equipment and you've readied your facility to welcome back members. You feel prepared, but once your doors open, you realize there's a whole new set of considerations you're now facing.
How do you ensure members wear a mask? How do you get members to follow your new cleaning protocols? How do you train your staff on these new protocols? And what do you do if someone gets sick? We'll take a look at these, and other concerns many facilities are having now.
Masks: A Matter of Safety
Many fitness facilities are requiring staff, members and guests to wear masks at all times while they're inside the facility. In fact, one of the largest chains in the US, Planet Fitness, announced that effective August 1, 2020 that masks are required for members and guests. Many fitness facilities are following suit, or have this policy in place already. It's a good idea to have extra disposable masks on hand in case a member or guest forgets theirs.
Most importantly, communicate to members via email and social media about your mask policy. We love this post from our neighbors, Lenox Fit, Inc.:
Ample communication will help ensure that your members follow your mask policy.
Wipe, Wipe, Wipe it Down
Apologies for the TikTok reference, but it's appropriate in this instance! Make sure members are doing their part in keeping equipment sanitized by ensuring there are plenty of wipes and wipe dispensers within reach, like our friends at Ultifit, who place their wipe buckets in easy-access locations.
Photo courtesy of Ultifit
This is not only good for members, but staff too. If your members see your staff cleaning, they'll get the hint and do their part. Adequate signage around your facility is a good idea as well. Staff should be well-versed in the new cleaning protocols. After all, a clean gym instills confidence in your members that they're working out in a safe, healthy environment.
Temperature Checks, Waivers and More
Having members sign COVID-19 health waivers, and taking stock of how members are feeling (either directly asking as they check in, or taking their temperature upon check-in) will provide peace of mind for both staff and members. You should also log who is using your club each day, (this can be accomplished with member card scanning) and ensure social distancing (social fitnessing!) is happening.
What if someone contracts COVID-19 at my club?
The Best Defense is a Good Offense
That is to say, stay vigilant with your cleaning and disinfecting protocols: ensure members are sanitizing their equipment, provide hand sanitizer throughout your facility, and maintain social distancing and mask usage while you're open. These steps should help keep the threat of an outbreak low, and help members feel safe when working out.
For more information, check out our following resources: