Gyms brace for new COVID-19 procedures with Phase 2 on the horizon

FAYETTEVILLE, N.C. (WTVD) -- With Phase 1 of re-opening North Carolina just days away, some gyms are looking ahead to Phase 2, where they'll get the chance to operate at a limited capacity.

Gina Gerard, the owner of two 9Round Fitness businesses in Fayetteville, has notified members of the anticipated re-opening.

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Like every business, they've utilized Zoom as a way to hold live, virtual exercises throughout the week.

"We've been doing that several times a week, and our members have been liking that," Gerard.

However, that innovation hasn't stopped the business from taking a financial hit. Gerard missed out on the first round of PPP funds and had to furlough all of her personal trainers, temporarily closing down her two locations.

"We have a lot of members on freeze options. We've had several cancellations," Gerard added.

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Governor Roy Cooper's Phase 2 would entail allowing gyms and other businesses to open at a limited-capacity, bringing some hope to owners like Gerard.

The big question is how these owners will approach an environment that's difficult to control with people sweating and breathing heavily.

Gerard tells ABC11 she plans to close down the water fountain and other areas that would come in contact with a lot of hands.

In addition, they'll have members sign up for scheduled blocks to ensure there are no more than six people exercising at a time.

The 9Round locations will also eliminate some of their workout stations to keep members a safe distance away from each other.

An approach World Gym, off of North McPherson Church Road, is taking. The owner, Bryan Limtiaco, tells us they plan to separate machines like treadmills to maintain social distancing.

Limtiaco says they've ordered a large stock of hand sanitizer, cleaner, and masks.

Meanwhile, 9Round says they'll require members to always sanitize their equipment before coming in.

"We're not going to open until we feel that we can keep our trainers and members safe," Gerard added.

Governor Cooper says Phase 2 could begin two or three weeks after Friday, depending on how the COVID-19 cases numbers look.

SEE MORE: Here are the 3 phases of Gov. Roy Cooper's reopening plan
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