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Baldwin gyms reopen with new rules

‘Rigorous’ protocols for gym reopenings

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As Baldwin reopens and the community eases back into pre-pandemic norms, local companies are taking precautions to ensure a safe start. Synergy Fitness and Blink Fitness in Baldwin have reconstructed their usual workout routines to assure gym-goers that their facilities align with state regulations. 

Gov. Andrew Cuomo announced on Aug. 17 that gyms and fitness centers would be allowed to open starting Aug. 24 at 33 percent capacity while “following rigorous safety protocols, including wearing masks at all times.” Cuomo reminded the public that the Covid-19 pandemic was continuing, and urged New York gym owners to adhere to the guidelines in place, such as having sign-ins for contact purposes, maintaining social distancing and having ample disinfecting supplies available for clients.

Synergy Fitness reopened its Baldwin, Franklin Square, Long Beach and Merrick locations on Aug. 26 at 5 a.m. With a thermometer in hand at the door to check clients’ temperatures and screening questions ready, Synergy employees said they were feeling confident about reopening. 

Rob Van Ness, manager of the Synergy Fitness on Atlantic Avenue in Baldwin, noted that he and his team are constantly sanitizing surfaces and updating their way of working to comply with state mandates. Every other piece of equipment is closed off, ample signage about social distancing is visible, and no more than 50 people at a time are permitted in the building. 

“We now use this app where we have members reserve a time slot beforehand,” Van Ness said. Seventy-five-minute workout increments are allotted to members, with a full sanitization of surfaces in between scheduled slots. 

Not only are state regulations being followed, but a Nassau County health inspector also deemed the gym safe to open. Additionally, the center’s heating, ventilation and air-conditioning units have been updated with new filtration systems. 

“I definitely feel safe here,” said Van Ness, who has worked at Synergy Fitness for three years, and became a manager in January.

Blink Fitness in Baldwin, on Grand Avenue, is following a similar regimen. With a 70-person capacity, the fitness center has taken precautions to reassure clients. The “Blink Promise” is a five-pronged strategy to assure gym-goers that employees are equipped to handle the new regulations. It includes a certified staff that has been trained in cleaning procedures, social distancing and gym reorganization. 

Robert Strommer began working at Blink Fitness in late December, and like many Long Islanders, was furloughed because of the Covid-19 pandemic.

“I feel pretty good,” Strommer said. “This is my first day back     . . . but I got to say, I think Blink is doing great.” He has been armed with a thermometer and tasked with screening customers as they enter the gym.

“Everyone has been respectful about it,” he continued, seeing the fifth aspect of the “Blink Promise” come to fruition. “No one has given an issue about having to wait outside.” 

Sanitizing stations and constant cleanups are keeping Blink Fitness within state guidelines as it navigates reopening during a pandemic.