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Arizona provides requirements for gyms to reopen during virus pandemic

(AP Photo/Andre Penner)

PHOENIX — Arizona health leaders provided Monday the necessary steps required for gyms and fitness centers to reopen as required by a judge’s decision from last week.

The Arizona Department of Health Services outlined the list counties must meet for gyms to begin what will likely be a gradual reopening process during the coronavirus pandemic.

The process also requires gyms to complete an attestation form, which will be automatically approved for eligible facilities once their counties numbers are in the required range, in order to open.

For gyms to begin reopening, counties must reach a moderate spread of COVID-19 community transmission. That requires cases rates to be between 10-99 per 100,000 residents, a positivity rate between 5-10% and a COVID-like illness rate between 5-10% for two consecutive weeks.

Gyms would have to then meet and enforce a list of requirements to open at a 25% level:

  • Hand hygiene and respiratory etiquette
  • Enhanced cleaning
  • Proper ventilation
  • Symptom screening
  • Physical distancing
  • Masks
  • Closing of communal spaces

For occupancy to rise to a 50% level, community spread would have to reach a minimal level.

The benchmarks at the minimal level are less than 10 cases per 100,000 residents, a positivity rate below 5% and a COVID-like illness rate below 5%.

Gyms that reopen would be required to close again in counties that again fail to adequately reach the necessary benchmarks.

The requirements were released after Maricopa County Superior Court Judge Timothy Thomason ordered the state last Tuesday to give gyms a way to apply for reopening within a week.

The ruling said a previous attestation form didn’t adequately give gyms a way to apply for reopening as set forth in the executive order issued by Gov. Doug Ducey on June 29.

On that day, Ducey issued the order that again closed indoor gyms and fitness centers, bars, movie theaters, water parks and tubing.

Arizona’s health clubs had previously been allowed to reopen in May after being closed under the stay-at-home order issued at the outset of the pandemic.

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