January 14, 2021
In Minnesota we look forward to our outdoor activities but we are just as anxious to get into our clubs and dive into the warm water of an indoor pool. With the reopening of gyms in Minnesota, there were new guidelines for the pool openings as well. The biggest point we want to make is that “If a pool is located within a place of public accommodation with limited occupancy, such as a fitness center, the occupants of a pool must be counted toward the overall occupancy of the place of public accommodation”. We addressed the Facility Capacity guidelines in an earlier post. It is the goal for those guidelines to continue to improve allowing more patrons into our facilities at any given time. At this time, MN is allowing a max of 25% capacity with a cap of 150 persons. Always check with your local government for current guidelines!
The response we got from the NIHCA Networking group was divided on Open Swim. Open swim is harder to regulate social distancing. Where social distancing requirements are stricter, some facilities who are offering open swim are doing so by reservation only.
Here is the link to the Minnesota pool reopening dated 1/6/21, https://www.health.state.mn.us/diseases/coronavirus/poolreopen.pdf. Please be sure to check your local government pages for guidelines!
Sign postings are a great reminder to your members for guidelines of social distancing and masks. From visiting with our members, we recommend word of mouth. Talk with your members, visit with them and have a conversation. We have found more and more understanding people over the last few months. Again, we are all trying to do our best; with a smile and good attitude we can work together to come out of this stronger.
January 14, 2021
We may have all heard the term “social distancing” enough to last us a lifetime but that doesn’t mean our facilities should loosen up on guidelines offered by your government, local health departments or the CDC. One of the big questions we have heard is, “How are you managing the social distancing in your locker rooms and with your showers?” We recommend you ALWAYS check with your local government pages as to the current mandates and recommendations.
If you are in need of some creative solution when your locker rooms and showers are not able to be open, these are what some facilities are doing:
- Set up temporary changing stations on the pool deck to allow safe space for their members.
- Encourage the member(s) shower on pool deck to rinse off, before and after using the pool.
- Recommend to your patrons to shower at home before and/or after when possible.
- If you have your locker rooms and showers open, please consider increasing the sanitizing and disinfecting procedures throughout the day.
We have found that facilities are posting rule reminders throughout their buildings as well as within locker rooms and they are not finding any issues arise with members violating the social distancing “rules”.
Do you have creative solutions at your facility if your locker rooms or showers have not been able to open? Email us at email@example.com with your solutions or a future question you would like addressed.
January 12, 2021
Our NIHCA Networking Group asked how the total capacity is being interpreted with the new mandates in place.
In Minnesota, the gyms were closed again in late November and early December. Since reopening, there have been greater restrictions on the max occupancy at any given time. This restriction is on a rolling basis; meaning, that at any one time there cannot be over 150 persons in the entire facility or max of 25% capacity. For Example: if you have a smaller facility with a max capacity of 150 persons then at this time you cannot have more than 37 persons at one time. The restriction is based on the facility and not on individual spaces.
Please verify with your state regarding capacity restrictions during this time as well as proper social distancing.
As of 1/10/21 in Minnesota
- 9 foot distance between machines and people
- Classes are now at 25 people with distancing observed
We will continue to repeat that this is an ever changing environment. We too look forward to the restrictions being lifted not only in Minnesota but throughout the country.
Follow the link for the Minnesota’s Stay Safe Plan, https://mn.gov/covid19/stay-safe/stay-safe-plan/index.jsp. Be sure to check your local government pages for guidelines.
January 11, 2021
We reached out to our NIHCA Networking Group and asked how the Mask Mandate is working for their facilities. The consensus is that it depends on many factors which we all knew but here are some highlights
- Facilities that consistently enforce/remind members appear to have the best results of compliance
- 24/7 facilities are viewing video and reaching out to individuals as needed
- Email members prior to opening reminding that the mask/face coverings are required
- Facilities have instructed staff to politely remind members that they have to wear their masks at all times and that if they feel uncomfortable for any reason with any member to contact the police
Here is the link for the MN executive order on face coverings, https://mn.gov/governor/assets/EO%2020-81%20Final%20Filed_tcm1055-441323.pdf.
This is changing regularly as we move through this new and unchartered territory. We will continue to work together to share what is working for facilities in hopes that you find a solution that works for you as well.
If you have additional recommendations or have found a great solution at your facility, please email us at firstname.lastname@example.org and we will add the information to this NIHCA Knows post.
Our first question we asked the NIHCA Networking Group was:
“How do you conduct virtual workouts?”
Our question came about as we have heard facilities scrambling this year to find solutions for the situation none of us could have anticipated. Of course, it is our hope that this is behind us and we all see our members coming back through our doors and one day soon we will again be able to see the smiles as they walk in.
The most popular Virtual Workouts offered that align with the Fitness Incentive Program is through a Zoom platform where members sign up for the class and attend from their home but are active with the instructor just as they would be if they were able to come together in the facility. This is offered as part of the membership for most facilities while they are shut down and may come with a minimal charge when the facility is able to be open. There are facilities that can offer this through their club software so that attendance is also taken when a member logs into the class.
There are some clubs/facilities who offer virtual workouts that do not qualify for the Fitness Incentive Programs. These workouts may be offered free or for an additional monthly subscription ($10-30/month) and are offered through emails sent or posted on social media. These workouts are prerecorded or written/typed out for the individuals to do at their convenience. There are also facilities that offer a library of workouts for an additional cost (again it ranges from $10-30 per month) to their members to access away from the facility.
Let us know if there are questions you would like answered in the future, you can email us at email@example.com.