Ulster County Announces Gym Reopening Plan

Ulster County Executive Ryan shares protocols and procedures to help local gyms and fitness centers reopen safely and quickly.   

KINGSTON, NY – Ulster County Executive Pat Ryan announced during his Facebook live the County’s Gym Reopening Plan to help local fitness centers get back into business as quickly and safely as possible. The news comes one day after Governor Cuomo announced that gyms throughout New York State will be allowed to open again as soon as August 24, but no later than September 2. The plan is a collaboration between the Ulster County Executive’s Office, the Health Department, and the Office of Economic Development. Members of the team will work hand-in-hand with local gyms to help them interpret the New York State guidance. The plan will ensure all gyms wishing to reopen can schedule their inspection with the Ulster County Health Department. In accordance with NYS guidelines, Ulster County gyms will be limited to a third of their total capacity, and people will be required to wear masks at all times. 

“We are committed to working with gyms and fitness centers to ensure a safe environment for residents,” County Executive Ryan said. “Our team is prepared to provide support for our local gyms to make sure they can open safely and quickly while providing a healthy and productive experience for those who wish to utilize their facilities.” 

“MAC Fitness appreciates and wants to thank County Executive Pat Ryan and his administration for working with us to help us open as quickly and safely as possible,” Holly Snow, owner of MAC Fitness in Kingston said. “The plan will help ensure safe operations while enabling us to fully operate under new State guidance. All of us at MAC Fitness know how important it is to bring back some normalcy in this trying time for all of our friends and neighbors, and we look forward to seeing all of our members in the days ahead.” 

“We applaud County Executive Pat Ryan’s Task Force, which will work to allow gyms and fitness centers to re-open as soon as next week,” Ward Todd, President of the Ulster County Regional Chamber of Commerce said. “For our many chamber members who operate physical fitness facilities, this is very welcome news. While we understand the past five months have been extremely difficult for them, we also know that their members are eager to return to resuming their fitness routines. This is one more huge step forward for our local small business economy.”

“We are tremendously grateful to Pat Ryan and his team for their aggressive approach to helping Ulster businesses reopen.  The plan he has created, shows a real level of concern and a get it done attitude that is much needed from all our government agencies!” Mike Arteaga of Mike Artega’s Health and Fitness Centers in Highland said. 

Fitness center owners may contact the Ulster County Recovery Response Service Center at 845-443-888 or email RSC@co.ulster.ny.us(link sends e-mail) with any questions and visit here for more information.

The following New York State guidelines listed below must be in place.  

  • Guidance for Gyms and Fitness Centers
  • Capacity: 33% occupancy limit.
  • Access: Sign-in with contact information and health screening required.
  • PPE: Appropriate face coverings required at all times.
  • Distancing: 6 feet of separation at all times.
  • Hygiene/Cleaning: Cleaning and disinfection supplies made available to customers; shared equipment cleaned after every use; staff must also be available to clean and disinfect equipment in between uses; rental equipment must be cleaned and disinfected between customer use.
  • Classes: By appointment/reservation only; maximum class capacity capped at number of people that can adhere to the 6-feet social distancing rules, but in no case more than 33% of the typical class size (i.e., leave stations, cycles, etc. vacant); classes should be scheduled to allow additional time for cleaning and disinfection in between each session.
  • Amenities: Water bottle refill stations permitted, but not shared water fountains; communal showers are closed, but individual showers/stalls can remain open so long as they are cleaned in between use.
  • Air Handling Systems: Gyms should operate at MERV-13 or greater; if they are unable to operate at that level, they must have heating, ventilation, and air conditioning (HVAC) professional document their inability to do so and adopt additional ventilation and mitigation protocols from American Society of Heating, Refrigerating and Air-Conditioning Engineers (ASHRAE) and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).
  • Inspection: Local health departments shall inspect before or within two weeks of the gym/fitness center opening to ensure compliance.