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‘Nobody wants to see the gyms shut down’: Fitness centers cope with new COVID masking rules

RedZone Fitness in Weston has never known life without restrictions.

The gym opened in July, in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic, and the facility’s members and staff have had to grapple with sanitizing, masking and socially distancing requirements ever since. That said, given the smallness of classes, patrons were able to stay far enough apart that they didn’t have to wear masks while working out, said Elana Goldblatt, part owner, studio manager and lead coach at RedZone Fitness

“People had to wear a mask while walking to their spot (and elsewhere in the gym),” Goldblatt said — just not while working out.

That has changed.

On Nov. 20, Gov. Ned Lamont signed an executive order that, among things, required patrons of all gyms and fitness centers in the state to wear masks at all times, “with no exceptions.”

Previously, establishments didn’t have to require that patrons wear a mask during workouts as long as they maintained at least 12 feet of social distance while exercising. The capacity limit at gyms was also reduced, from 50 percent to 25 percent.

The new regulations are an attempt to curb the spread of COVID-19 in Connecticut, which has spiked over the past several weeks. Requiring face coverings at all times can be potentially helpful in the gym environment, said Keith Grant, senior system director of infection prevention for Hartford HealthCare.

“One of the primary (COVID-19) symptoms that we’re most concerned with is coughing,” Grant said during a Tuesday press conference. “The mechanics of coughing is moving the actual particles forward. That is also seen with an increase in the rate of breathing, such as that which happen with exercising.”

Wearing a mask can help prevent those particles from being pushed out, and can keep spread down, Grant said.

Goldblatt said the new restrictions pose some challenges for clients. The gym offers different classes every day and, on Monday, the first day of classes at the gym following the mask requirement, RedZone had a cardio workout class.

“It was hard on Monday because it was a very intense day and the very first day (people were) wearing a mask to work out,” Goldblatt said. “But I think the longer you wear mask while working out, the easier it is. It’s like working out — the first day you do it is going be harder than the fifth day.”

It is another hurdle at a time that’s been full of them, but Goldblatt said if the new guidelines allow gyms like RedZone to remain operational, she and her clients will try to take them in stride.

“We are open,” Goldblatt said. “We still have clients. I will take this as a win.”

Greta Wagner, executive director of Chelsea Piers in Stamford, had a similar attitude. Before the new regulations, she said, “We had a few mask-free zones where people could work out because we had 12-foot distancing. It was very appreciated by clients. It made it much more enjoyable, when people could work out

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Home Fitness Innovator FORME Life Launches Nationwide Retail Rollout With Westfield Shopping Centers

Designed by Yves Béhar, the elegant at-home wellness solution curates workouts based on users’ ability, goals, and lifestyle. To suit a range of personal preferences, the retail stores will display two distinct offerings: Studio, a mirrored display that transforms to offer live and on-demand content, and Studio Lift, which includes resistance training equipment that conveniently tucks away when not in use.

This retail launch marks the first time customers will be able to purchase FORME Life in person, having garnered significant interest since announcing pre-orders in May of this year. Customers will now be able to experience the stylish equipment and world class content before placing an order. The stores and kiosks will feature both the Studio and Studio Lift, empowering customers to select the best option for their lifestyle. Flagship locations will measure approximately 1,000 square feet and Kiosks will be around 400 square feet, both featuring clean lines and minimalist design to complement FORME Life’s aesthetic. In addition, retail stores will feature an exclusive fragrance partnership with Virtuvi and custom artwork by Anoushka Mirchandani.

“We are delighted to welcome FORME Life to some of our most affluent centers across the country,” said Colin Shaughnessy, EVP, US leasing. “Their new-to-market stores are an exciting addition to our lineup of wellness boutiques, fitness offerings, and cutting-edge technologies that aim to revolutionize the modern shopping experience. Now, more than ever, home fitness is an important category as our guests look to access workouts and build a fitness routine from the comfort of their own home.”

“We are so excited to see FORME Life out in the world and have been waiting for this since we began to create our Studios. We love that people can finally experience what we believe to be the very best in home fitness. For this reason, Westfield Shopping Centers have purposefully placed FORME Life within their luxury lifestyle stores and experiences.” – Trent Ward, Founder and CEO

About FORME Life

Designed by Yves Béhar, FORME Life delivers an unparalleled at-home fitness experience. The Studios uniquely transform to host a variety of workouts and activities, returning to an elegant, full-length mirror when not in use. What’s more, an ultra-high definition touch-screen display is the closest thing to a one-on-one interactive experience with a personal trainer.

To suit a range of user preferences, FORME Life offers two distinct models: Studio ($2495 or as little as $69/month for 36 months) and Studio Lift ($4495 or as little as $125/month for 36 months), which includes resistance training equipment that uniquely tucks away when not in use. FORME Life’s ever-evolving original content can be experienced by everyone in the household for a $39/month multi-user membership.

To learn more, please visit formelife.com and on Instagram.

Media Contact
Gabrielle Perez 
Jack Taylor PR 
[email protected]

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Walz to close bars, restaurants, fitness centers for 4 weeks

Gov. Tim Walz has ordered a four-week shutdown of bars, restaurants, entertainment venues and fitness clubs, starting Friday, to slow the COVID-19 pandemic that has caused more than 3,000 deaths in Minnesota and threatens to overwhelm hospital capacity.

The governor on Wednesday also ordered a pause on amateur sports and limited social gatherings to individual households — down from a cap imposed last week of 10 people from three households.

While Minnesotans are weary of the pandemic, and endured a broader 51-day state shutdown last spring, Walz said this latest order could keep more Minnesotans healthy and more hospital beds available until a vaccine becomes available.

“I know that hospitalizations are going to continue to go up for the next few weeks and I know that the death numbers will continue to go up for the next few weeks,” Walz said. “But the bright spot of this is, the moves we take now will start to bend that at just the time when the potential for a vaccine is coming. That’s what’s different, Minnesota, this time.”

Walz attempted a targeted response last week by restricting the sizes of wedding and funeral receptions and ordering bars and restaurants to close everything but takeout service by 10 p.m. The goal was to focus on group gathering locations where large outbreaks have occurred, but Walz and state Health Commissioner Jan Malcolm said rapid changes in the pandemic forced broader action.

“Two weeks ago, I thought a 5,000-case day was horrific,” Malcolm said. “Now, that looks like a good day.”

In the eight days since that last order, Minnesota saw roughly 52,000 more lab-confirmed infections and 312 more deaths — bringing the state’s totals to 242,043 infections and 3,010 deaths. The 1,706 COVID-19 hospitalizations in Minnesota on Wednesday represented a 31% increase.

Walz’s four-week order also applies to movie theaters, bowling alleys and museums. The Minneapolis Institute of Art and Walker Art Center, which had reopened to limited audiences in mid-July, will close Saturday; Mia said it would open no earlier than Jan. 2.

Retail outlets are unaffected, along with salons, as Walz said state contact tracing has found little evidence that they are responsible for large outbreaks. Religious ceremonies also are unaffected along with weddings and funerals themselves, but celebrations and receptions are subject to the shutdown. And while bars and restaurants will be closed to in-person service, they can still provide takeout, drive-through and delivery service. Only five customers will be allowed inside an establishment at any one time to pick up orders.

Walz and health officials chose four weeks because that reflects two infection cycles with the novel coronavirus that causes COVID-19 — given its incubation period of up to 14 days. If people comply, Malcolm said the measures should level off the state infection rate and the positivity rate of diagnostic testing. Right now, 15.3% of tests turn up positive.

Walz said “the data will drive our decision” whether to end the restrictions at four weeks or extend them. Minnesota

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Walz to temporarily close bars, restaurants and fitness centers as COVID-19 cases surge

Gov. Tim Walz will impose new restrictions on bars, restaurants and fitness centers starting Friday, closing them down to the public four weeks as COVID-19 cases surge across the state.

Bars and restaurants will still be allowed to offer takeout services during that time, according to a source with knowledge of the restrictions. The new restrictions will also include a temporary pause on youth sports activities.

Walz will deliver an address to Minnesotans at 6 p.m. Wednesday to discuss the latest steps in his response to COVID-19.

The restrictions come days after the governor implemented a 10 p.m. curfew for bars and restaurants and put restrictions on bar seating and games.

But Minnesota health officials have warned the state is heading to a dangerous phase of the pandemic. On Tuesday, the state reported 26 new COVID-19 deaths and 5,945 new coronavirus infections, with 1,669 people with COVID-19 occupying inpatients beds in Minnesota and 346 needing intensive care — a record number of hospitalizations.

Republicans in the Legislature are asking Walz to announce the new restrictions immediately to help restaurants and bars plan for the changes.

“Minnesotans recognize how grave the situation is with COVID-19 spreading uncontrolled throughout the state,” said Rep. Dave Baker, R-Willmar. “We’re ready to do our part for our health care workers, no matter how difficult the coming weeks will be, and prevent a capacity crisis for our hospitals and health care facilities. But we need to do this together with transparency.”

Briana Bierschbach • 612-673-4689

———

©2020 the Star Tribune (Minneapolis)

Visit the Star Tribune (Minneapolis) at www.startribune.com

Distributed by Tribune Content Agency, LLC.

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fitness

Walz to close bars, restaurants and fitness centers for 4 weeks

Gov. Tim Walz will impose new restrictions on bars, restaurants and fitness centers starting Friday, closing them down to the public for four weeks as COVID-19 cases surge across the state.

Bars and restaurants will still be allowed to offer takeout services during that time, according to a source with knowledge of the restrictions. The new restrictions will also include a temporary pause on youth sports.

Walz will deliver an address to Minnesotans at 6 p.m. Wednesday to discuss the latest steps in his response to COVID-19.

The closures come days after the governor implemented a 10 p.m. curfew for bars and restaurants and put restrictions on bar seating and games.

But Minnesota health officials have warned the state is heading to a dangerous phase of the pandemic. On Tuesday, the state reported 26 new COVID-19 deaths and 5,945 new coronavirus infections, with 1,669 people with COVID-19 occupying inpatients beds in Minnesota and 346 needing intensive care — a record number of hospitalizations.

Republicans in the Legislature are asking Walz to announce the new restrictions immediately to help restaurants and bars plan for the changes.

“Minnesotans recognize how grave the situation is with COVID-19 spreading uncontrolled throughout the state,” said Rep. Dave Baker, R-Willmar. “We’re ready to do our part for our health care workers, no matter how difficult the coming weeks will be, and prevent a capacity crisis for our hospitals and health care facilities. But we need to do this together with transparency.”

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Ohio’s fitness centers have critical role in COVID-19 fight



Kenneth P. Moritsugu wearing a suit and tie smiling at the camera: Dr, Kenneth P. Moritsugu


© Courtesy of Dr. Kenneth P. Moritsugu
Dr, Kenneth P. Moritsugu

The COVID-19 virus has increased its grip on the country as states experience surges in new cases. Ohio is in the thick of this new surge with confirmed cases quadrupling in the past 30 days and hospitalizations doubling. In response, Gov. Mike DeWine has threatened to close restaurants, bars and fitness centers within a week if the number of newly confirmed cases increase. While well-intentioned, the governor should reconsider his position on closing fitness centers in light of the toll COVID-19 has taken on our physical and mental health, and the benefits physical activity can have in combating this and other diseases.

The lockdowns across the nation led people to be more sedentary, with a 32% reduction in physical activity. In addition, a recent nationwide poll by the Kaiser Family Foundation reports that more than half of U.S. adults — about 53% — say that their mental health has been negatively impacted by worry and stress over the pandemic. That number is a significant increase from the 32% who reported being similarly affected in March.

Further, these negative health trends also bring into view issues of health equity and health disparities for some of our most vulnerable populations. In Ohio, physical inactivity and obesity disproportionately impact our lower income population and communities of color. The obesity rate for white Ohioans is 34% compared with 43% of Latinos and 36% of African Americans.

Fitness plays a critical role in combating the virus and improving people’s overall physical and mental health. Chronic health conditions impacting millions of Americans including obesity, hypertension and diabetes can cause complications and significantly increase the chances of hospitalization and death for those who contract COVID-19. There is also increasing evidence that some racial and ethnic minority groups are being disproportionately affected by COVID-19.

Regular physical activity can protect us from these conditions while helping us to fight the virus. You might not think you have the time to squeeze in a workout, but researchers found that as little as 20 minutes of exercise can have anti-inflammatory effects that boost your immune system.

Mental health, much like physical health, also disproportionately affects our lower-income communities. While 7.3% of Ohioans who make over $75,000 a year reported that they experience frequent mental distress, that number skyrockets to 26.2% for those making less than $25,000 a year.

Levels of stress, anxiety and depression across the U.S. all increased during the pandemic. To cope, it appears many Americans turned to alcohol, according to a study by RAND and the National Institute of Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism, which found a spike in consumption. As lead author of the study and RAND sociologist Michael Pollard noted, “People’s depression increases, anxiety increases, (and) alcohol use is often a way to cope with these feelings.”

Once again, fitness can play a role, turning people away from increased alcohol use and toward regular physical activity is known to have long-term mental health benefits that

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fitness

It’s critical to keep fitness centers open amid COVID-19

One less-reported consequence of the lockdowns associated with the COVID-19 pandemic is the toll the virus has taken on our physical and mental health. As we look for ways to to improve our nation’s health, policymakers should work with fitness centers to ensure COVID-19 transmission-mitigation efforts are in place so that these facilities can remain open and available.

The lockdowns across the nation led people to be more sedentary, with one study showing a 32% reduction in physical activity. In addition, a recent nationwide poll by the Kaiser Family Foundation reports that more than half of U.S. adults, about 53%, say their mental health has been negatively impacted by worry and stress over the pandemic. That number is a significant increase from the 32% who reported being similarly affected in March.

Furthermore, these negative health trends may be exacerbated by issues of health equity and health disparities for some of our most vulnerable populations. In Texas, physical inactivity and obesity disproportionately impact our lower-income population and communities of color. The obesity rate for adults in Texas is nearly 35%. However, while only 33% of whites are reported obese, that figure jumps to nearly 40% for Black and Latino Americans.

Most individuals and families don’t have the resources or space for at-home fitness equipment, so access to spacious, well-ventilated, big-box fitness facilities can play an important role in efforts to combat the virus and improve people’s overall physical and mental health. Chronic health conditions impacting millions of Americans including obesity, hypertension and diabetes can cause complications and significantly increase the chances of hospitalization and death for those who contract COVID-19.

There is also increasing evidence that some racial and ethnic minority groups are being disproportionately affected by COVID-19. Regular physical activity can protect us from these conditions while helping us to fight the virus. Researchers found that as little as 20 minutes of exercise can have anti-inflammatory effects that boost your immune system.

Mental health, much like physical health, also disproportionately impacts our lower-income communities. While 6.7% of Texas residents who make over $75,000 a year reported that they experience frequent mental distress; that number nearly triples to 18% for those making less than $25,000 a year.

Levels of stress, anxiety and depression across the U.S. all increased during the pandemic. To cope, it appears many Americans turned to alcohol, according to a study by the Rand Corp. and the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism that found a spike in consumption. As lead author of the study and Rand sociologist Michael Pollard noted, “People’s depression increases, anxiety increases, [and] alcohol use is often a way to cope with these feelings.”

Once again, fitness can play a role; turning people away from increased alcohol use and toward regular physical activity is known to have long-term mental health benefits that reduce those conditions many are struggling with right now.

All of this underscores the critical need for regular physical activity, especially now in the time of COVID-19, for our country’s physical

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The US just topped 1,100 coronavirus deaths a day. One state is getting National Guard help, and Puerto Rico’s 911 centers are shut down

You know Covid-19 is out of control when health officials are so overwhelmed they can’t notify close contacts who may be infected.



a person holding a sign: Oct. 13, 2020; Phoenix, Arizona; Delta Air Lines has no-touch boarding at Sky Harbor International Airport. Delta Air Lines is promoting their health and safety practices in the COVID-19 air travel era.


© Rob Schumacher/The Republic/USA Today Network
Oct. 13, 2020; Phoenix, Arizona; Delta Air Lines has no-touch boarding at Sky Harbor International Airport. Delta Air Lines is promoting their health and safety practices in the COVID-19 air travel era.

That’s what’s happening in North Dakota, one of 31 states suffering more new Covid-19 cases this past week compared to the previous week.

Contact tracing is crucial to finding possible carriers of coronavirus, so they can quarantine and break the chain of infection.

But a “sharp increase” in new cases has engulfed contact tracers, leading to delays and “a backlog of positive cases that have yet to be assigned to a case investigator,” the North Dakota Department of Health said this week.

“Close contacts will no longer be contacted by public health officials; instead, positive individuals will be instructed to self-notify their close contacts and direct them to the NDDoH website, where landing pages will be created … explaining the recommended and required actions for both positive patients and close contacts.”

The North Dakota National Guard has shifted 50 soldiers from contacting close contacts to notifying people who have tested positive, the state health department said.

‘No safe period of time’ to be maskless with someone outside your bubble

Nationwide, all Americans need to double down on safety measures now that the definition of “close contacts” has expanded.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention just broadened “close contacts” to include anyone you may have had brief contact with, within 6 feet, during a combined 15 minutes over the course of a day. (Previously, the CDC defined close contacts as anyone you had close encounters with for at least 15 minutes straight.)

“It reiterates the importance of everybody wearing a mask,” said Dr. Ashish Jha, dean of Brown University School of Public Health.

“There is no safe period of time to be with somebody who’s not part of your bubble if both of you are not wearing masks,” he said. “It’s really critical that people wear masks if you’re going to be with somebody for any period of time, even if it’s less than 15 minutes.”

The new CDC guidance came after researchers discovered even brief exposures (less than 15 minutes each) with an infected person nearby can silently spread coronavirus.

Video: Coronavirus latest – Tuesday (CNN)

Coronavirus latest – Tuesday

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“A mask can protect other people from the virus-containing particles exhaled by someone who has COVID-19. As many as half of all people who have COVID-19 don’t show symptoms, so it’s critical to wear a mask because you could be carrying the virus and not know it,” the CDC said.

“While a mask provides some limited protection to the wearer, each additional person who wears a mask increases the individual protection for everyone. When more people wear masks, more people are protected.”

911

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