On June 8, wellness facilities were allowed open with the stipulation that they must adhere to the New Normal guidelines.
Wellness facilities (commercial gyms and fitness centers, including, but not limited to, dance studios, martial arts studios, yoga studios, spinning studios, personal training services, and similar establishments) were to reopen with best practices and minimum standards outlined by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the Florida Department of Health (DOH) to protect the health and safety of all members, staff and the community.
The industry must be responsible, methodological and consistent when reopening, with the intention of eliminating and/or minimizing COVID-19 exposure risks to all staff, members, and the community.
The top priorities for these guidelines are to promote and protect the health and safety of all staff, facility users and patrons. The following key factors were considered:
- Capacity limits and social distancing
- Use of facial covering in the facility, in public, and for certain activities
- Increased air filtration and ventilation
- Adherence to CDC and DOH guidance to control spread of germs, including SARS-CoV2
- Proper cleaning and disinfecting protocols
- Appropriate staff training, supervision and patron monitoring and reporting.
In addition to the general reopening guidelines for all business establishments as outlined in the New Normal Guide, the following industry specific requirements for wellness facilities, such as commercial gyms and fitness centers, including, but not limited to, dance studios, martial arts studios, yoga studios, spinning studios, personal training services, and similar establishments, must be adhered to.
As you prepare to reopen your establishment, please use the Wellness Facilities General Checklist as a guide. All guidelines are categorized by workforce protection measures, employee protection measures, non-employee (or customer) protection measures, business process adaptations, employer-led public health interventions and industry-wide safeguards.
For the most up to date changes, see the latest Emergency Orders and Amendments.
Send a question or a suggestion about the New Normal Guide to [email protected].
Points in bold MUST be followed; other recommendations are strongly suggested. While designated businesses are permitted to open, they are not required to open.
- Monitor building occupancy and restrict customer access to no more than 50 percent of the building's indoor maximum occupancy.
- In no event may the combined indoor and outdoor operation exceed 100 percent of a building's legally permitted occupancy.
- All individuals are required to wear facial coverings when entering and exiting facilities and within facilities except when conducting certain activities where it is not possible to wear facial coverings.
- Provide an exit from the facility separate from the entrance, when possible.
- Upgrade HVAC ventilation filters per OSHA and ASHRAE guidance, use MERV 13 or higher or HEPA filters, optimize ventilation system settings to maximize introduction of fresh outdoor air through the system while maintaining proper thermal comfort and maintaining humidity level between 40 percent to 60 percent for HVAC systems.
- Increase circulation of outdoor air as much as possible. Open windows and doors where feasible to improve natural ventilation in the facility.
- Facility operators must ensure and document that outside air ventilation damper controls are working and remain fully open during this period.
- If fans are used (pedestal or mounted), take steps to minimize air flow from fans blowing directly from one person to another.
- Doors between separate fitness areas or rooms of the facility (excluding emergency exits) must remain open to reduce surface touching by multiple people.
- Prior to re-opening, flush plumbing and run water in sinks to eliminate stagnant water from the period of facility's closure.
- Equipment stations for highly-strenuous or highly-aerobic activity must be appropriately distanced so that there is a head-to-head 10-feet distance between patrons at each exercise station. The stations must be properly reconfigured to assure and maximize physical distance requirement.
- Markers must be placed to indicate the appropriate distance between individuals who are exercising.
- Social distancing markers of 6 feet must be placed in front of the reception/membership desk and all other appropriate areas.
- Make readily available dispensers of a disinfectant included on the EPA List N: Disinfectants for Use Against SARS-CoV-2 and provide patrons with sufficient cleaning and disinfecting materials, including disposable wipes, at all entrances, exits and at various locations throughout the facility and by workout stations.
- Facility and personal hygiene signage, such as signs on how to stop the spread of COVID-19, including signs on properly washing hands, everyday protective measures, facial coverings, social distancing, and requirements for patrons to clean and disinfect equipment after use, must be conspicuously posted at all entrances, exits and at various locations throughout the facility, including bathroom facilities.
- Remove any unnecessary chairs, tables, or other furniture and all magazines, newspapers, service menus and similar shared items.
- Common-use amenities, including, but not limited to, saunas, steam rooms and locker rooms, showers (except pool showers), must remain closed at this time.
- Other common-use amenities, including, but not limited to, body lotions, deodorant, razors, shaving cream and mouth wash, must not be provided. However, facilities may provide patrons with single-use water bottles and other single-use amenities.
- Discontinue providing towels, heart monitors, personal fitness mats, blocks, bolsters, or similar equipment to customers.
- Patrons must bring their own personal-use items, including, but not limited to, towels, heart monitors, fitness mats, blocks, or similar equipment that may be required for exercise
- Shower facilities must be closed, except for showers at facilities with pools, but only for use prior to entering the pool.
- Doors to multi-stall restrooms should be able to be opened and closed without touching handles if at all possible.
- Place trash can by the door if the door cannot be opened without touching the handle.
- If toilet lid is present, close lid before flushing; place signs indicating that toilet lids (if present) should be closed before flushing.
- Provide paper towels in restrooms and disconnect air dryers or tape them off.
- For single restrooms, provide signage and materials (paper towels and trash cans) for individuals to use without touching the handles, and consider providing a key so disinfection measures can be better controlled.
- Place signs asking members and employees to wash hands before and after using the restroom.
- These operational requirements must be followed any time the facility is occupied.
- All individuals in the facility must wear a facial covering while maintaining a minimum of six feet distance from each other, unless otherwise specified in the bullet items below.
- Physical contact will be prohibited between any individual within the facility unless individuals are members of the same household. If an instructor must come within six feet of a student, the instructor must wear a facial covering.
- Aquatic programs within fitness and wellness centers must be limited as to class size to meet six-foot distance requirement; in lap lanes, the six-foot requirement is deemed met while swimming laps provided no more than one person is using a lane at any time. Lap lane sharing is prohibited.
- Pool sanitation and safety guidelines outlined in the Mayor's New Normal Guide must be adhered to.
Staff and users must be trained on the proper use of cleaning and disinfecting products. Products must be registered on the EPA's N List for SARS-CoV2. Products must be used following label instructions and Safety Data Sheets including for application method, contact time, dose, PPE use and disposal.
- All employees and patrons must be required to sanitize their hands with soap and water or hand sanitizer at least 60 percent alcohol:
- Upon entering the facility (or before beginning their fitness activities, if conducted outdoors);
- After using each piece of equipment;
- Upon completing their fitness routine; and
- Upon exiting from facility.
- Disinfecting wipes (wipes must be registered on the EPA N List to kill SARS-CoV-2) must be available throughout the facility and patrons must disinfect every piece of equipment after each use. Equipment must be allowed to fully air dry before next use.
- Staff must monitor the facility and ensure that all equipment and high-touch surfaces are appropriately disinfected after each use. Equipment and high-touch surfaces to be cleaned and disinfected include, but are not limited to:
- Hand grips on cardio equipment such as treadmills, bicycles, ellipticals;
- Touch screens on exercise equipment;
- Hand grips on dumbbells, weight bars, and other strength-training systems;
- Weight plates and weight-selection pins;
- Pads/cushioned components such as permanently installed mats, anti-fatigue flooring, bike seats, lifting benches, and seating or other cushioned components of strength training machines used for exercise activity;
- Fitness balls, rope handles, and other fitness accessories.
- During daily operation, routinely (every two hours at a minimum) clean and disinfect common-area surfaces, particularly high-touch surfaces including, but not limited to, counters, handrails, seating, doorknobs, light switches, and all furniture/equipment that is in use.
- During daily operation, routinely (every two hours at a minimum) clean and disinfect restrooms and high-touch surfaces within restrooms including, but not limited to, faucets, toilets, and doorknobs.
- In addition to routine cleaning and disinfecting during hours of operations, clean and disinfect the entire facility at the close of business or before the facility opens to the public.
- Employees not engaged in exercise activities or instruction must wear facial coverings. Any employee who appears to have flu-like symptoms or other symptoms related to COVID-19 upon arrival at work, or who becomes sick during the day, must immediately be separated from other employees, customers, and visitors, and sent home.
- The manager (or designee) must ask every employee the following health screening questions before each shift to help identify any symptoms of COVID-19:
- Have you experienced
- A fever ≥ 99.5 °F (37.5°C), cough (any kind dry or productive), sore throat, shortness of breath or breathing difficulties, fatigue, chills, muscle pain, headache, or loss of taste or smell since your last shift?
- Have you come into contact with anyone who has at least two of the symptoms listed above since your last shift?
- Have you come into contact with anyone who has tested positive for COVID-19 since your last shift?
- Have you experienced
- Any establishment that has an on-site employee or contractor who tests positive shall close for the shorter of:
- the time needed for staff who were in contact with the positive employee or contractor to be tested and cleared by a medical professional as being COVID-19 free and the establishment to be deep-sanitized;
- 14 days from the date such employee or contractor was last on-site at such establishment, if deep-sanitization is not performed.
- An establishment shall be deemed to have complied with the above if, after deep-sanitizing, employees who were in contact with the positive employee or contractor do not report to work for 14 days after the date the positive employee or contractor was last on-site.
- Where an establishment has multiple floors or structures or square footage of more than 10,000 feet, only those structures, floors or areas where the infected person was present are required to be sanitized as a condition of re-opening, and only those employees working in such structures, floors or areas must be tested. All employees who came into personal contact with the positive employee must be tested or, in the absence of a test, be excluded from the premises for 14 days after the date the positive employee was last onsite.
- Under no circumstances shall an employee or contractor who tested positive report to work at an establishment until that employee is cleared by a medical professional as being COVID-19 free.
- Initial Reopening Plan
- Business Establishment Designation
- Control and Prevention of COVID-19 (OSHA)
- COVID: Guidance for Businesses & Employees (FDH)
- Guidance on Preparing Workplaces for COVID-19 (OSHA)
- Guide to Cleaning & Disinfecting (CDC)
- Products for Use Against SARS-COV-2 (EPA)
- Wellness Facilities Coronavirus Safety Requirements, Distancing 6 feet
- Wellness Facilities Coronavirus Safety Requirements, Distancing 10 feet