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By Jay Mullen

Granville’s local fitness center, Gemini Fitness, will be reopening in compliance with Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s safety protocols on Monday, Aug. 24 at 5 a.m.

The safety protocols include wearing masks at all times.

Gov. Cuomo announced on Aug. 17 that gyms and fitness centers will be allowed to reopen at 33% occupancy starting on Aug. 24. All gyms and fitness centers will be able to open by Sept. 2.

Local health departments will execute mandatory inspections to ensure that all the guidelines are being adhered to within two weeks of Aug. 24.

Gemini Fitness owner Lindsey Schieffelin said that there was plenty to do in preparation of the gym’s reopening.

He said that the preparation for the reopening began about a month ago.

Signs can be seen in the gym reminding everyone to wear masks and practice social distancing.

“We knew the six-feet thing was coming,” he said, referring to making sure all the machines were the proper distance apart.

While walking around the gym floor giving the Sentinel a tour of the new layout, Schieffelin explained that the machines aren’t what has to be six feet apart, it is where the gym member will be performing the workout.

This means that the members head must be six feet apart from the next member’s head to be in compliance with the social distancing guidelines.

“The first thing we had to do was redo all of the fitness equipment in the gym,” he said.

Gemini fitness’ machines were set up by circuits. This means that a number of machines for a certain muscle group are placed in a common location on the gym floor.

Schieffelin rented a commercial floor cleaner to ensure that the entire 2,400-square-foot recycled rubber floor was deep-cleaned as well.

After receiving the guidelines from the state, he had to ensure Gemini Fitness had a safety plan for how they will handle people coming into the gym, what they will do if someone has a fever and how they will conduct contact tracing.

They will also have to ask the “key COVID questions.” They will ask if you have any symptoms, if you have visited a state that is on the New York state restricted list and if you have been around anyone who has contracted COVID-19.

“We have to keep a form by our front desk that when people come in they have to sign their name and the time they came in,” Schieffelin said.

The form will help with the contact tracing process if someone who has visited the gym tests positive for COVID-19.

The HVAC system that Gemini Fitness uses also needs to meet requirements set up by the state. They must be able to use a filter that is MERV-13 or greater.

Schieffelin said that won’t be a problem because their HVAC system is able to read the amount of CO2 levels in the air and produce fresh air for everyone inside the gym.

He said that members of the gym have reached out to him expressing their excitement about the gym reopening. Schieffelin doesn’t want members afraid of going to the gym and wants them to know they are compliant with all of the guidelines produced by the state.

He even has that message on the sign outside of the fitness center.

“We are completely COVID compliant,” he said. “They should have no worries about coming into our gym.”

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