Workers at area gyms are doing some heavy lifting to prepare to reopen in the coming days after being closed for several months due to the COVID-19 virus.
At Odyssey Fitness Center in Wilkes-Barre, about half the cardio room equipment has been moved onto the gym’s tennis courts to maintain proper social distancing and fitness classes will be held on the basketball court.
Those are just some changes members can expect when Odyssey reopens Monday morning.
Other all-hours gyms like Nanticoke Fitness Center and Tanning will not immediately return to round-the-clock hours of operations.
Popular places like Planet Fitness in Edwardsville and Pittston have yet to announce reopening plans.
“We are very excited to open the doors back and see our members. We call it the Odyssey family,” said Crystal Wright, the fitness director of Odyssey.
Odyssey’s new temporary hours will be 5:30 a.m. to 8 p.m. Monday through Friday, and 7 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday and Sunday.
Odyssey will set a capacity of 200 members inside the gym at any given time, which is much less than the 50 percent of capacity that will be allowed by law when Luzerne County shifts to the green reopening phase, Wright said.
“We’d rather be safe than sorry,” Wright said.
Because Odyssey is so large at 70,000-square-feet, the business was able to space equipment even further than the recommended six feet of social distancing, Wright said.
That has been a plus for some current and potential members who might otherwise feel apprehension about going to a gym while coronavirus is still in the community, she said.
“That’s one thing they are loving about Odyssey. We can spread out so much and they feel a little safer,” Wright said.
Nanticoke Fitness, which previously operated around the clock, announced it would open Monday with new temporary hours. The gym will be open 6 a.m. to 8 p.m. Monday through Friday, and 8 a.m. to 3 p.m. Saturdays.
“All members will be required to come in and personally meet with a member of the staff to discuss requirements and recommendations,” the business posted on Facebook. “We have made a number of changes to ensure the safety of our members and staff. Please keep in mind this is temporary. We can’t wait to see everyone.”
The business said 24-hour access would “be back as soon as possible.”
VIVE Health and Fitness in Kingston announced it would reopen Saturday. New hours will be 5 a.m. to 9 p.m. Monday through Thursday, 5 a.m. to 8 p.m. Fridays, and 6 a.m. to 6 p.m. Saturday and Sunday.
“We have fully sanitized our facility from top to bottom through a quality professional cleaning company … guaranteed to kill all known bacteria and viruses on all surfaces,” the business posted on Facebook. “Upon check-in, all members will be screened by staff to make sure no one is bringing in or spreading any contagions. All staff will be masked at all times. High touch points and equipment will be sanitized every hour.”
The business said it was excited to reunite with its members.
“While you’re at VIVE, please do your best to follow our distancing and safety policies to keep other members and our staff safe,” the business wrote. “Thank you all for your continued support through these uncertain times. It is because of you that we were able to survive these last three months as a small business.”