Health  |  News & Politics

How Are DC-Area Gyms and Fitness Studios Planning for a Potential Coronavirus Outbreak?

Here's the takeaway: Don't come to your workout class if you feel sick.

Coronavirus 2020

About Coronavirus 2020

Washingtonian is keeping you up to date on the coronavirus around DC.

Fear over COVID-19 has affected the stock market, airline travel, grocery stores, restaurants, and a whole host of of other subjects, including gyms and workout studios.

In environments that can incorporate a lot of contact with other folks and workout equipment, are local fitness spots taking special precautions?

It seems so. As of this morning, a list of gyms and studios with DC-area locations have sent out emails to clients about the precautions they’re taking in light of the global coronavirus outbreak. The list includes Elevate Interval Fitness, Vida Fitness, CorePower Yoga, Flywheel, Barry’s, Solidcore, Zengo Cycle, Barre3, and the Bar Method, and will be updated as we get more information.

While it’s important to note that no COVID-19 cases have been reported in the DMV area, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, local spots are still taking precautions. Most emails sent out by gyms and fitness studios assured clients that they have upped their cleaning routines, wiping down all equipment and areas between classes and deep cleaning each space after-hours, and that they are working to add additional hand sanitizer stations and disinfectant wipes. Many of the emails also urged clients to stay home if they are feeling under the weather, and most said they would be lenient with cancellation fees or charges (although you should still call your studio to double check before cancelling).

Some studios also advised clients to tell instructors if they’d like to refrain from hands-on adjustments during class, while the Bar Method said it will limit the use of balls during its workouts and Zengo Cycle and 305 Fitness recommend that clients refrain from high-fiving during the workout (Zengo advises going for a water bottle cheers instead, while 305 prefers booty bumps).

And perhaps the most interesting health suggestion of all: Barry’s asks that you refrain from kissing in the studio.

Basically, here’s what you need to know: The CDC recommends you wash your hands frequently with soap and water for 20 seconds and that you use hand sanitizer between washes. Frequently disinfect objects you’ve touched, and avoid contact with folks who are sick. But, perhaps most importantly, if you aren’t feeling well, stay home. And, yes, this includes not hitting the gym or going to a workout class.

Good news is: There are plenty of awesome workouts you can stream for free on YouTube.

This article will be updated as we get more information. 

Mimi Montgomery Washingtonian
Home & Features Editor

Mimi Montgomery joined Washingtonian in 2018. She’s written for The Washington Post, Garden & Gun, Outside Magazine, Washington City Paper, DCist, and PoPVille. Originally from North Carolina, she now lives in Del Ray.