Local leaders say safety concerns when it comes to gyms due to air conditioning systems

Erie County

ERIE COUNTY, N.Y. (WIVB)–While many people were looking forward to getting back into their regular workout routines as part of the fourth phase of reopening, the state announces gyms will not be included, and instead, will be back in business at a later date.

Although the state labeled Phase Four as the final stage in New York Forward, today the governor announced there are still safety concerns when it comes to gyms, which is why they will not reopen when other businesses do.

Local leaders say this is due to the air conditioning system in places like a gym or even a mall.

The state is now studying whether droplets that are infected with the coronavirus can be spread through HVAC systems to others, especially if that place is at capacity.

Today, Erie County Executive Mark Poloncarz says after hearing from the governor and his team, it’s going to take some time before these places can reopen.

“Gyms of course have not been included yet as allowed in Phase 4. The governor talked a little more about this today. What we’ve heard as well, is gyms are gonna have to do a little more than your normal type of business, including the air handling system, and the air conditioning, to show that your air handling system is not going to be spreading COVID-19 all around,” Poloncarz said.

While he says he sympathizes with those who own gyms who are continuing to lose money as a result of the closures, he says it’s for the best to ensure everyone is safe and we don’t spread this disease.

Leaders have said they understand many are looking forward to getting back to normal but that won’t happen overnight.

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