State provides guidelines for gyms and fitness centers to open safely

LANSING, Mich. (WILX) – According to a press release issued by the Michigan State Police the State of Michigan is requiring gyms, fitness centers, bowling alleys, roller rinks, ice rinks, swimming pools and similar businesses to follow updated workplace safety guidelines. The guidelines are designed to prevent further spread of COVID-19 to the public and workers.

These businesses are now allowed to be open in some capacity across the state, but must follow state guidelines. While indoor services are allowed, they will be capped at 25% capacity. The State also strongly suggests utilizing outdoor fitness classes when possible. The State is also advising facilities to ensure social distancing is being followed and that equipment and supplies are shared as little as possible, and even then be subject to frequent and thorough disinfection and cleaning.

“It is critical for businesses reopening their doors to take every precaution to protect the health and safety of their workers, customers, and our communities,” COVID-19 Workplace Safety Director Sean Egan said. “Our goal is to make this process as easy as possible for businesses and ensure they have the tools and resources necessary to prevent the spread of COVID-19. Violation of these orders can create risks to workers and the public.”

To reopen, employers must create a written COVID-19 Preparedness and Response plan. The plan must include exposure determination and outline measures that will be taken to prevent employee exposure to COVID-19.

Guidelines that facilities must follow to prevent exposure to COVID-19 include but are not limited to:

  • Maintain accurate records, including date and time of entry and exit, names of patrons and contact information, to aid with contact tracing; and deny entry to any visitor who does not provide at a minimum their name and phone number.
  • To the extent feasible, configure workout stations or implement protocols to enable six feet of distance between individuals during exercise sessions.
  • Indoor class sizes must be reduced to ten or less.
  • Limit capacity in the facility to 25% of the total occupancy limits.
  • Mandate wearing of facial coverings at all times except when swimming. Face shields are not sufficient.
  • Regularly disinfect exercise equipment, including immediately after use. If patrons are expected to disinfect, post signs encouraging patrons to disinfect equipment.
  • Ensure that ventilation systems operate properly.
  • Close steam rooms and saunas, jacuzzies and cold plunge pools.

Businesses that do not comply with these orders may be subject to up to $7,000 general industry safety fines from the Michigan Occupational Safety and Health Administration’s (MIOSHA) as well as penalties from local law enforcement or health departments.

Anyone with questions regarding workplace safety and health may contact MIOSHA using the new hotline at (855) 723-3219.

Health and safety concerns in the workplace can be reported at: Michigan.gov/MIOSHAcomplaint.

Copyright 2020 WILX. All rights reserved.

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