Sharing gyms in condominium and apartment buildings during a pandemic has its challenges. Health and safety protocols remain in place to help limit the spread of COVID-19 in shared spaces like condo fitness rooms.
"Although fitness rooms are allowed to re-open, there are a number of different protocols that need to be set up and followed such as equipment distancing, hygiene and sanitation," said the Canadian Condominium Institute's North Alberta Chapter on their website.
"The rules and regulations that are outlined in (the government's) guidance order would apply to condo fitness rooms," said Alan Whyte, executive director for CCI's North Alberta chapter in an interview with Taproot.
"Every complex is unique in terms of the demographics, the staffing levels, the resources and the amenities that are there, so it would be impossible to put a one-size-fits-all guidelines," explained Whyte.
The condominium corporation published an article addressing some of the steps they are taking to mitigate the spread of COVID-19 in gyms and other common areas.
- Increasing the availability of hand sanitizers or soap;
- Additional cleaning and disinfecting of areas;
- Installation of physical distancing and other COVID-19 guidance signage on common elements with reminders of the steps which owners can take to limit the spread of COVID-19.
According to the Alberta government, people are expected to maintain a physical distance of two metres in free-weight areas. As for treadmills and elliptical machines, residents should consider physical barriers or a distance of at least three metres between equipment. These rules apply only to residents who belong to different households.
While the Alberta government does not specify the maximum number of people allowed in a condo fitness room, gym rules can vary between buildings. These rules include, but not limited to:
- Capacity limited to one to four people (depending on gym size);
- Members are required to book their workout;
- Maximum one-hour workout;
- Additional signs to disinfect before and after equipment use;
- Masks are not mandatory.
Whyte said condominiums are self-policing and each building will be able to make their own decision as long as they are following the guidelines.According to the Canadian Condominium Institute, communication is key and corporations should ensure they have reviewed, implemented, and are able to maintain necessary protocols.
Some fitness centres in apartments and condominiums across the city remain closed. "They don't need to re-open if they feel they are unable to meet the guidelines that are set out," said Whyte.
Yes, Alberta Health Services has guidelines for cleaning public facilities.
Yes, when you're out in public and unsure if you can keep a safe distance from others.
There are many reasons, including international travel, COVID-19 clusters and increased testing.
published on Monday, May 11, 2020