Update, March 18, 2020: All gyms in New York, New Jersey, and Connecticut will be closed until further notice.
With rising concerns surrounding Covid-19, fitness studios are doing their part to prevent the community spread of the disease. On March 4, we urged brick and mortars to loosen their cancellation fees to encourage sick people to stay home and keep those in attendance safe from the virus. To their credit, many of them have heeded the call—and then some. Now, brick-and-mortars are taking things one step further and changing their policies, with many of them altering the formats of their classes and some temporarily closing their doors.
"The gym is up there in terms of places where you would have the highest risk for the spread of the Coronavirus—it's not number one, but it's definitely in the top five," says Jason Tetro, microbiologist and author of The Germ Files. He points to people breathing hard, in close proximity to one another, as the main reason behind it. According to the CDC, Covid-19 is mainly spread from person-to-person, “between people who are in close contact (within about six feet) of one another, through respiratory droplets produced when an infected person coughs or sneezes.” These droplets can land in the mouths or noses of people nearby, or possibly be inhaled into their lungs. It may also be possible that the disease is spread when someone touches a surface with the virus on it and then touches their mouth or nose, which means you might be able to pick it up from an infected mat or piece of equipment.
Because of this, the studios on this list that are still open have relaxed their cancellation policies—if you'd like to cancel a class if your feeling sick or are concerned about being in the gym, get in touch with them directly. Each location listed has also upped their cleaning policies to coincide with the CDC's recommendations (they've sent detailed emails to their customers outlining exactly what that looks like), and are committed to regularly disinfecting equipment and high-touch areas. Many classes have become hands-off, which means teachers will no longer be touching students to adjust their form, and high-fives are strongly discouraged all around.
If you are planning on attending a fitness class at this time, pros say that there are a few things you can do to ensure your safety. Wash your hands for the recommended 20 seconds before you enter the gym, disinfect all equipment (including mats and machines) before you touch it, and do the same when you're finished. Properly wash your hands again, immediately following your workout, and change out of your workout gear and shower as soon as possible. For more information about what is going on with your favorite studios, check out the list below.
Please note that information is changing rapidly, and this information will be updated to reflect that. To share intel on closings and policy changes, please reach out to firstname.lastname@example.org.
305 Fitness (BOSTON, CHICAGO, DC, LA, NYC, SF): Studios will be closed, effective March 14.
AARMY (NYC, LA): Studios will be temporarily closed.
AKT (NYC): Class sizing will be limited to keep up with social distancing protocol.
Barry's (NYC): Classes will be 50 minutes instead of the usual hour, filled at 50 percent capacity, with one treadmill round and one floor round. The studio will be cleaned between each round.
BRRRN (NYC): Class sizes will be reduced to 12 students, fewer classes will be offered.
Chelsea Piers (NYC): Officially closed from March 13 through March 31, though closure may be extended.
CityRow (NYC): Class schedule will be pared back as long as the NYC studio remains open.
Corepower Yoga (Nationwide): Studios will be closed.
Cycle House (LA): Weights will not be used in classes.
CYC (NYC, DC): Weights will not be used in classes.
DanceBody (NYC): Studios will be closed.
Fhitting Room (NYC): Reduced class capacity, no shared equipment, machines will be sanitized between each user.
Fithouse (NYC): Class capacity and class schedule will be reduced.
Flywheel (Nationwide): Studios will be closed.
Gold's Gym (Nationwide): Gyms will be closed.
Ishta Yoga (NYC): Classes are cancelled for the following two weeks.
Life Time (Nationwide): Creating social distancing within clubs, in which people are encouraged to use every other cardio machine instead of being directly next to another member. Modifying class schedules to allow for more time for cleaning between sessions.
Modo Yoga (NYC, LA): All classes will be cancelled for two weeks, beginning on March 13.
Physique57 (NYC): Class capacities will be limited to 10 to 12 students, the use of bands will be avoided.
Powerflow Yoga (NYC): Cloth towels will be replaced with disposable paper towels, rental mats and straps will be removed from all studios.
P.volve (NYC): Studio closed through March 24th.
Racked Stretch (NYC): Operations will be consolidated solely to the NOHO location.
Rowgatta (NYC): Classes will be cancelled indefinitely.
Rumble (NYC): Class sizes will be cut in half so that clients will only be booked in alternating spots (with no one beside them), no equipment will be shared.
RYDE (NYC): Weights will not be used in classes.
Sky Ting Yoga (NYC): Class sizes will be cut in half, teachers will no longer be offering hands-on adjustments, classes will be conducted without props, and students must bring their own mats.
[Solidcore] (nationwide): Students are required to wash their hands before entering the studio.
SoulCycle (NYC): Studios in New York, New Jersey, and Connecticut will be closed.
Swerve (NYC): Classes will be cancelled from March 13 through March 15.
Wundabar (NYC, LA): All classes will be a no-touch experience until further notice.
Y7 (NYC): Class sizes will be cut in half, fewer classes will be offered, and Y7 Meatpacking and Y7 at Solace New York will be closed.
Yogavida (NYC): Class capacity will be cut, class schedule will be modified, and there will be no hands-on adjustments from instructors.
If you're panicked about COVID-19, these are the myths that a doctor wants you to stop believing. And if you're choosing to stay away from studios for now, these are our favorite digital workouts to try at home.
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