Gyms prep for influx of new members amid COVID-19 surge

The Waynesboro YMCA. (FILE)
The Waynesboro YMCA. (FILE)(WVIR)
Published: Jan. 3, 2022 at 10:32 AM EST
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WAYNESBORO, Va. (WVIR) - A new year means a new start, and for many people with New Year’s resolutions, that mean it’s time to head to the gym.

“They all of a sudden realize, ‘I’ve got a New Years resolution, I’ve had a lot of good holiday meals, I got to get those calories off,’” Waynesboro YMCA Executive Director Jeff Fife said.

Fife says the gym has already seen an uptick in new members just in the last month.

“We’re already seen a surge of new members just in December,” he said. “We got 70 new memberships just in the last week alone, and we anticipate another 70-100 in January. And then everyone that’s sort of an active member but hasn’t been coming the last three months.”

But that surge coincides with a surge of COVID-19 cases, causing the gym to take extra precautions, like upping cleaning staff. Fife says the gym is not forcing guests to wear masks, but masks will be highly recommended for everyone.

Fife says the gym will adjust accordingly if case numbers continue to climb.

“We typically monitor both local health data on how many cases are in the region, as well as CDC guidelines. We’re tied to a strong network in the Virginia State Alliance that also makes recommendations for local YMCAs,” he said.

In an email to NBC29, a representative with ACAC of Charlottesville said:

“We are strongly encouraging members wo wear masks, encouraging more diligence on cleanliness and we will still have restrictions on numbers in group exercise classes. We are following CDC and Virginia state guidance, like we have since the beginning of the pandemic. We are optimistic, but keeping a close eye on the situation.”

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