CHERRY HILL, N.J. (CBS) – After a six month shutdown, gyms and fitness centers in New Jersey reopened Tuesday. They were closed back in March to help reduce the spread of the coronavirus.
Occupancy inside gyms is limited to 25% capacity and face masks must be worn by all members and staff. Temperature screenings are also required, along with enhanced sanitation protocols.
Social distancing guidelines must also be followed.
Indoor fitness classes will be limited to one person per 200 square feet.
In Cherry Hill, members began to line up at 5 a.m. to enter The Edge fitness center.
“We’re thrilled to be open,” The Edge founder Jim Sansone said. “We’re thrilled for our members as you saw, for our staff, we’re excited for people to be working out again. Exercising to help meet their hopes and dreams, staying in shape. We have been open in some other states so we’ve been preparing for this for a while. Today is here. Our team is ready, our members are ready. Our clubs are bright, shiny clean, grand opening new, ready to go.”
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Once inside, members found some machines roped off in order to create a six feet distance between equipment. There were also hand sanitizer and sanitizing supplies available.
“We just went through a full five-day training course, eight hours a day, with all of our team. Safety, hygiene protocol, all of that. The mask compliance, the facility sanitation, so we’re going get it right,” Sansone said. “The Edge does it the right way, our members will do a great job, they want to be here, they want to exercise, they want it to stay open. We’re going to follow the rules, we’re going to do it the right way.”
Gymgoers say getting back to a routine is the important part. They say it helps with their physical and mental health.
“Being out of this when you’re in five, six days a week, you start to feel down cause you’re not in your routine. You feel out of shape,” gymgoer Terry Collins said.
Gyms are also required to have members sign in case they need to be contacted if someone at the gym tests positive for COVID-19. According to Governor Phil Murphy’s executive order, if someone at the gym does test positive, the gym must be closed for 24 hours and sanitized.
Members say they are happy to follow the rules.
“I’ll do whatever it takes to get back in and get that routine back,” member Ed Carruthers said.
CBS3’s Howard Monroe contributed to this report.