Waukesha County YMCAs open up, other gyms in Milwaukee County still waiting

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MILWAUKEE (CBS 58) -- After more than two months, local gyms are reopening, but with safety precautions in place. As many of us get back into the gym, we’ll notice it won’t be the same as before.

At the YMCA in Waukesha, floor markers will encourage social distancing, there will be contactless scanning as you enter, and that’s not all they’ve done to safely welcome back clients.

"We’re encouraging members to kind of come in as they are, get ready for a good workout, and then leave,” said Emily Salas, YMCA of Greater Waukesha County marketing director. 

The YMCA says four of their six branches opened Wednesday in Waukesha County, and two more in Milwaukee County will open up on Friday, May 22.

"More of our focus right now is on usage per room, but we’re continuing to monitor that per square footage of the entire facility,” said Salas.

Salas says for the last eight weeks they’ve been preparing for a safe opening.

In addition to routinely cleaning and disinfecting equipment, they’re also blocking off every other machine, staff will wear PPE, and be hands-free with most of their daily operations.

“It’s really nice,” said Dave Richmond who came to work out on his lunch break. “It’s been a long time. And then you realize it’s been a really long time.”

Members say they’re happy to be back, and are happy to see all the precautions they’re taking to keep them safe.

 “I did get a chance to take a look at the precautions that they’re taking,” said Richmond. “I know a number of gyms are doing a lot of the same things. We’re on a learning curve for everyone.”

But not everyone is that lucky. F45 Milwaukee Lakefront on the city's east side has been cleaning, disinfecting and planning on limiting the number of class sizes, and using no-touch thermometers on their members once they open back up.

“We are just keeping contact with all of our members, helping keeping them accountable and focused,” said Wade Ritchie, owner of F45. “And then we literally go on a day by day basis hoping to hear good news that we can reopen soon.”

The YMCA tells us that they understand some people aren’t as comfortable as others coming back yet, so they’ll continue offering their virtual fitness classes online, as will F45 until they get the green light to reopen.

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