Gyms and fitness centers are now allowed to reopen starting today in San Joaquin County.
County Public Health Officer Dr. Maggie Park late Tuesday decided if gyms opened properly under COVID-19 protocols and social distancing it could help reduce the problem of people driving to nearby counties where gyms are open on a regular basis. Part of the effort to reduce the spread of COVID-19 is for people to be discouraged from traveling out of county for non-essential purposes.
CALFit on North Main Street is preparing for reopening Thursday. The local independent gym has extensive protocols in place to assure safety of staff and clients as well as extensive sanitation procedures.
InShape had planned to open their two Manteca locations this week but did not when Park decided last Friday not to allow gyms in the county to reopen as was allowed by the governor. The company’s website Tuesday pushed back club openings in San Joaquin County to mid-July. InShape could not be reached Tuesday to see if he revised order issued by the county will change their plans and allow for an earlier opening.
Dance studios and gymnastics are also permitted to operate under the approved guidance from Park’s office.
A news release Tuesday stated “the County recognizes the impact of economic hardship, but the risk of COVID-19 infection is still real for all residents and continues to be fatal.”
While many elements of the guidance are the same across industries – such as cleaning and physical distancing – consideration was given to fitness industry-specific methods. For example:
*Fitness facilities with playgrounds should keep those areas closed until such facilities are allowed to resume modified or full operation.
*Gym guidance does not apply to day care or childcare services, youth camps, team or contact sports, school and educational activities, and other public gatherings.
*Most organized activities and sports such as basketball, baseball, soccer, and football that are held on park fields, open areas, and courts are not permitted.
Each business, should review the guidance, prepare a plan, and put it into action. When complete, businesses can post the industry-specific checklist in their workplace to show customers and employees that they have reduced the risk and are open for business.
Before reopening, all outlined facilities should:
*Perform a detailed risk assessment and implement a site-specific protection plan
*Train employees on how to limit the spread of COVID-19, including how to screen themselves for symptoms and stay home if they have them
*Implement individual control measures and screenings
*Implement disinfecting protocols
*Implement physical distancing guidance
The release also states, “COVID is still spreading and prevalent in San Joaquin County. Community members are reminded that gatherings are still prohibited. If you must encounter with people outside of your household, remember to practice social distancing, wash your hands and practice good hygiene, and wear a face covering when possible.”
Testing is still available at several locations across the county, including free sites in Lodi and French Camp.
The State developed industry guidance for Gyms and Fitness can be found at https://covid19.ca.gov/pdf/guidance-fitness.pdf. For additional information on open businesses and links to alternative COVID-19 guidance, visit www.SJReady.org.
As of Tuesday at 10:30 a.m. the number of COVID-19 patients that were hospitalized remained at 49.
The number of deaths so far — 47 — was five more than was reported on Monday.
Confirmed cases — new and previously reported of those who are ill from the coronavirus and who have recovered creeped up 33 to 1,749. A record high 807 people out of 760,000 county residents are currently ill with COVID-19. There have been 942 recoveries.
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