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Governor Cuomo: New York Gyms Can Begin Reopening as Early as August 24

Area gyms must follow a number of new rules, including having all members wear masks at all times.

Troy's anatomie gym Owner/Trainer Eileen Fitzgibbons (center), conducting a class prior to the COVID-19 crisis. (Elario Photography)

If you’re an anti-masker, don’t bother trying to go back to your area gym anytime soon. On Monday, August 17, New York Governor Andrew Cuomo announced that the state’s gyms would finally be able to reopen as early as August 24, but that anyone who sets foot in one will have to wear a mask at all times.

Besides enforcing an all-masks-all-the-time mandate, gyms will only be able to start out at 33 percent capacity, with health and other ventilation requirements in place. And, of course, that August 24 start date comes with a catch: all the various state localities’ health departments will have the responsibility of inspecting the gyms, either before or within two weeks of that deadline, to make sure that the gyms are following all of the health guidelines. The governor emphasized that all gyms would have to be inspected (and reopened, if they can) by September 2.

It’s also up to the localities whether or not a gym can hold classes indoors. (In the weeks leading up to the announcement, many gyms have been offering socially distanced outdoor classes as an alternative.)

“[Gyms were] an area of concern, so that’s why we went slow on it,” said Cuomo during his daily press briefing. “You need to get the economy back up and life moving forward.” The real test, said the governor, was making sure that the gyms were following all the guidelines. “We just went through this with bars and restaurants,” he said. “That’s my trepidation.”

Final sign-offs on all of these decisions goes to the elected officials in each locality.

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Will Levith

Will Levith is Editorial Director at Saratoga Living and Capital Region Living magazine. He's a native Saratogian and graduate of Saratoga Springs High School. His work has been published by Esquire, Playboy, Condé Nast Traveler, Men's Health, RealClearLife and many others. He lives in Troy with his wife, Laura, and dog, Esopus.

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