Gov. Kemp tells Fox News gyms may be safer than grocery stores; LA Fitness plans to reopen
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Atlanta, GA- Saying business closures have helped “flatten the curve,” Gov. Brian Kemp in a Fox News interview defended his decision to reopen many businesses shuttered by the COVID-19 pandemic, including gyms.
Kemp said hospitals that have postponed essential but elective surgeries can begin to resume those. Kemp said “given the favorable data and enhanced testing,” gyms, fitness centers, bowling alleys, body art studios, barbers, cosmetologists, hair designers, nail care artists, estheticians, their respective schools, and massage therapists can reopen their doors on Friday, April 24. Theaters, private social clubs, and restaurant dine-in services will be allowed to reopen on Monday, April 27. Bars, nightclubs and live performance venues will remain closed.
“We took measured steps to get to the shelter in place, and now we’re taking measured steps to come out of that,” Kemp told Fox News’ Martha MacCallum. “This is not a giant leap forward.”
He said hospital CEOs he spoke with reached their peak number of cases on April 6.
Fox News pressed Kemp on how people will be able to stay safe in businesses where people tend to operate in close quarters. MacCallum asked, “Can you explain why you would start with those kinds of businesses on day one?”
In his response, Kemp said gyms might be safer than grocery stores.
“They’re going to have to follow the strict guidelines,” Kemp said, referring to safety measures that are required as a part of his decision. “I would tell you that I imagine there’ll be people in gyms that’ll be a lot safer than they would be going to the grocery store or some of the other places of business that are part of the critical infrastructure that’s been designated at the federal level. You know, this is going to take some common sense. Our people in our state have learned a lot through this. They have helped us be a solution to the problem, to flatten the curve and to start getting on the other side of this.”
Kemp also acknowledged that easing restrictions will likely mean more COVID-19 cases.
“Our hospital capacity … You know, you have to remember the reason we did this to start with is so we had time to build up hospital capacity,” he said. “We are having record vacancies in our hospitals right now because we were getting ready for the surge. They are bleeding money and they need help, as well as our local business owners do. So we’re prepared for what may come with this, and we’re prepared to act. We’re ramping up testing. I talked extensively about that in my press conference on Monday. We have almost 3,000 National Gaurd troops that are cleaning long-term care facilities. They’ve got 10 mobile testing sites, so we can go to hot spots whether it’s long-term care or other vulnerable populations in the state.”
To see the full interview, click here.
In an email to members, LA Fitness said it plans to reopen as of May 1.
“We want to make LA Fitness the safest place to be outside of your own home,” the email said. “We will operate differently than before by taking extra steps designed to protect the health and safety of our members and employees. First and foremost, we will initially limit our building occupancy to one person for every 200 square feet and move equipment to create safe social distancing. We’ll be making it convenient for you to check yourself in and use hand sanitizer as you enter the club, and, in accordance with CDC guidelines, the spas and saunas will be temporarily off-limits and use of the basketball courts will be limited to stretching and other activities that will allow the proper spacing. We will have staff scheduled during all hours of operation to disinfect frequently used areas.”
Here is the full announcement:
We’re excited to let you know that Governor Kemp has given us the green light to reopen our Georgia locations. We are busy getting our clubs and employees ready, and our goal is to reopen on May 1. When we do, here’s what you can expect:
We want to make LA Fitness the safest place to be outside of your own home. We will operate differently than before by taking extra steps designed to protect the health and safety of our members and employees. First and foremost, we will initially limit our building occupancy to one person for every 200 square feet and move equipment to create safe social distancing. We’ll be making it convenient for you to check yourself in and use hand sanitizer as you enter the club, and, in accordance with CDC guidelines, the spas and saunas will be temporarily off limits and use of the basketball courts will be limited to stretching and other activities that will allow the proper spacing.
We will have staff scheduled during all hours of operation to disinfect frequently used areas. You can help by remembering to:
– Wash or sanitize your hands often
– Wipe down equipment after each use
– Bring a towel with you and your own mat
– Give each other space and follow the social distancing signs
– Most importantly, if you feel sick, have a fever, are coughing, have difficulty breathing, or if in the last two weeks you been in close contact with a person with a suspected or confirmed case of COVID-19, please stay home
Our initial hours of operation will be:
– Monday – Friday 6am – 8pm
– Saturday & Sunday 8am – 5pm
– Kids Klub
Please visit our website or download the LA Fitness app for any updates and a summary of additional safety measures.
Billing on Your Account
Upon opening, which is targeted for May 1, all Georgia members will have their billing resume (including billing for any fitness membership, personal training, HIIT by LAF and Pilates by LAF dues, as well as for any annual, enhancement and rate guarantee fees) on the same date(s) and in the same amount(s) as regularly scheduled prior to the club closures.
If you were paying a freeze fee before your club closed, then we will resume billing your freeze fee on the same date of the month and in the same amount as regularly scheduled prior to the club closure. If you have a Kids Klub membership, we will not resume billing you for those services until they become available.
We are aware that Governor Kemp has indicated that the “elderly and medically fragile”, including anyone with compromised immunity, should continue to shelter in place until at least May 13. So if you feel like you cannot resume your workouts right now, or if you have any questions, please call (949) 255-7200 because we want to be flexible during this difficult time
We look forward to seeing you back at the club soon!
Your LA Fitness team
The Decatur Family YMCA has not announced whether it will reopen.
“We are taking this decision very seriously and will communicate further information with you regarding our reopening as soon as possible,” the Y said in a Facebook post.
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