Local gym owners concerned about new reopening rules: ‘It’s going to be a problem’

Local News

ROCHESTER, N.Y. (WROC) — Gym owners say they’re both excited and frustrated as they’re learning about the reopening guidelines issued by Governor Andrew Cuomo. He announced that gyms can open Monday, August 24 under certain conditions.

The gyms must be inspected first by the Monroe County Health Department.

One big concern for some local gym owners is meeting the state’s air filtration standards. MERV-13 air filters must be used in gyms, and owners say that could mean potentially expensive facility upgrades.

“He [Cuomo] hasn’t given any specifics and most commercial units are not set up to use MERV 13 air filters, so my understanding is it will freeze coils on the filters because they just don’t draw enough air across the coil’s so it’s gonna be a problem,” said Todd Levine, owner of Gold’s Gym in Webster.

MORE | Here’s what gyms in New York state need to do to reopen

Other rules, like operating at 33% capacity and enforcing masks while working out are rules Levine is concerned about.

”Capacity here at the club is 432, so that drops me down to 144,” Levine said. “We’ve already had calls from members who have expressed their displeasure that they won’t be back until I’m guessing once there’s a vaccine and masks can go away.”

For personal trainer Patty Lancie, this is exciting news despite the face mask workout rule.

“It’s been tough very tough and a lot of my clients that I’ve reached out to are extremely excited because they have gained a lot of weight through this, and they want to get back into shape,” Lancie said.

“I want to get back in the game and I’m glad that we get the opportunity to open, I just think it’s gonna be a new normal for a little bit until there’s a vaccine,” Levine said.

Cuomo says local health departments must inspect gyms within two weeks of opening.

News 8 reached out to the Monroe County Health Department for more information about how these inspections will work but did not hear back Monday.

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