Customers at bowling alleys and gyms will soon be rolling and lifting again now that Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo has deemed conditions in New York safe enough that places like these can reopen.
Bowling alleys, which could reopen as of Monday, are limited to 50-percent capacity. Gyms, which can begin to reopen on Monday, will be limited to 33-percent capacity, according to state guidelines, though local government officials have authority to delay gym reopening to Sept. 2. Face coverings and social distancing are required at all times in both types of facilities.
In Wainscott, the Clubhouse, which usually offers bowling, mini golf, arcade games, and dining indoors and out, expects to reopen its lanes at 5 p.m. on Sept. 4, a staff member said yesterday by phone.
State rules require every other lane to be closed, patrons must stay within their designated lanes, and there may also be limitations on food and drink services. "Thorough cleaning and disinfection of shared or rented equipment between each use will be required," the rules state.
For gym patrons, sign-in sheets and health screenings will be mandated upon entrance. Use of water bottle refill stations is allowed, but not shared water fountains. Cleaning and disinfecting supplies — already a normal occurrence at most fitness centers — must be available, and shared and rented equipment must be cleaned after every use. Staff members "must also be available to clean and disinfect equipment between uses," the state's rules say.
Classes at gyms and fitness centers will be by appointment or reservation only, and must adhere to capacity rules, established by the number of people who can safely social distance at six feet or more. They must adhere to scheduling that allows for cleanings in between sessions.
Governor Cuomo's rules for gyms also exclude communal showers, but "individual showers/stalls can remain open so long as they are cleaned in between use." Gyms will also be required to use air ventilation systems of MERV-13 or greater, or else have a professional heating, ventilation, and air-conditioning company document a facility's inability to do so. In that case, a gym must "adopt additional ventilation and mitigation protocols" based on industry standards.
Local health departments will be inspecting gyms either before they reopen or within two weeks of reopening.
"While it's encouraging that we've reached the point where it's acceptable for them to begin reopening in our communities, this is not the time to forget that the pandemic is ongoing," Governor Cuomo said in a statement. "New Yorkers must closely adhere to the guidelines and local health departments are required to strictly enforce them to help ensure gyms and fitness centers reopen safely and protect the public health."