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California gym to reopen with pods for clients to exercise inside

Coronavirus

REDONDO BEACH, Calif. (KTLA) – When a Redondo Beach gym reopens to clients Monday, it will look very different.

Those walking into Inspire South Bay Fitness on Artesia Boulevard will be told to sanitize their hands, have their temperature taken, asked to sign a waiver and then assigned into a pod, each with its own dumbbells and other equipment inside.

The pods took three days to build using shower curtains and pipes — a lower-cost alternative to installing plexiglass dividers, the gym’s owner Peet Sapsin said.

Gyms and fitness centers have been shuttered for months as the state grappled with the spread of the coronavirus.

“It’s been really tough, we weren’t sure if we were gonna [be] able to reopen again,” Sapsin said. “But because now that we’ve come up with this solution, it’s a lot more affordable and, now, we can reopen back up a little more safer and healthier for our clients.”

Only nine gymgoers will be allowed inside at a time, nearly half the gym’s usual capacity, he said.

Counties that have received state approval to accelerate their reopening — including Los Angeles County — gave the green light to gyms, fitness centers and other venues to reopen starting Friday.

The state released guidance for the spaces that reopen, all at reduced capacity and with rules for disinfecting and social distancing.

According to the state’s guidelines, those visiting gyms should expect to see personal trainers in face coverings keeping 6 feet away and hand sanitizer and wipes on exercise machines, with gyms requiring users to clean equipment after they’re done with it.

Group training classes will likely include fewer participants or move outdoors. The state had also suggested that fitness centers implement a reservation system to limit the number of people at a facility at once, as well as start a check-out system for using items like mats and exercise bands.

Gyms will be responsible for frequently cleaning equipment, countertops, vending machines, doorknobs, hand washing facilities, reception areas, locker rooms, restrooms, changing areas and showers.

Saunas, steam rooms and hot tubs will have to remain closed. 

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