In an announcement May 5, Abbott revealed gyms, recreation centers and other exercise facilities would be allowed to reopen beginning May 18 if proper social distancing measures are in place.
"[Exercise facilities] can open up to 25% capacity for the gym component," Abbott said. "Until we're able both get better strategies and get better control of COVID-19, showers and locker rooms must remain closed during this first phase, all equipment must be disinfected after each use [and] customers should wear gloves that cover the whole hands and fingers."
The Keller Pointe, the city of Keller's recreation and fitness center, opened bright and early May 18, staff said. The facility is currently open Monday-Friday from 5 a.m.-1:30 p.m. and 3-9 p.m.
According to staff, members must wear gloves at all times that cover from their fingertips to their wrists. All facilities are being held to 25% capacity restrictions, which includes maximum amounts of 15 people on basketball courts and 10 people on the track.
“Exercise equipment has been socially distanced, and the pool is adult lap swim only for ages 16 and up,” staff said. “Locker rooms are currently closed, but a restroom can be provided if needed.”
With similar measures in place, the city of Roanoke Recreation Center is operating Monday-Saturday from 7 a.m.- 7 p.m. The facilities are limited to members only at this time, and gloves are required in the weight room, staff said.
“You cannot come in without gloves,” staff said. “We’re pretty full.”
According to recreation center staff, with 25% occupancy restrictions in place the center can only allow a maximum of 21 people in the weight room and 37 total people in the center.
Among other precautions, staff said, basketball and racquetball courts are limited to 4-on-4 matches, equipment is not being rented, and the game room and child care areas are closed.
For Tamra Bullard, the owner of Anytime Fitness in Keller, the first week will be a test to see how the facility handles capacity restrictions.
“We opened at 5 a.m. today,” Bullard said. “If everything goes well, we will move to 24 hours at one point.”
The gym had a “good group” on May 18, Bullard said, with 12-13 people around 9 a.m. Guests are being socially distanced using large Xs on the floor, and the gym is being cleaned every few hours, she said.
“We’re focusing on bathrooms, door handles and other surfaces,” Bullard said. “It seems like it’s doing well, and people are wanting to get out.”
Guests are not required to wear gloves, but they are asked to wash hands upon arrival and sanitize between sets or after touching their phone or water bottle, she said. The fitness studio is also currently waiving a $99 initiation fee.
“We’re just trying to get people in to get them signed up and help them get going,” Bullard said.
Pro Taekwondo of Roanoke owner Daryl Rhine announced on Facebook the taekwondo studio would reopen May 18 for kickboxing, taekwondo and other classes. The studio is open on weekdays and is also offering a virtual taekwondo class.
“If you or someone you live with is high risk we encourage you to stay home,” the announcement said. “If you have any [symptoms] ... please stay home. We don’t want to be in a situation where we have to ask you to leave but we will even if it’s ‘just allergies.’”