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Reopening guidance for indoor gyms expected next week

State officials are set to release long-awaited reopening guidelines for indoor gyms.

During a conference call, Gov. Andrew Cuomo said the information should be made available Monday. No firm date for gyms to reopen has been announced.

Erica Dix, who with her husband own and operate Anytime Fitness in West Ellicott, said she is “cautiously optimistic” about receiving guidelines next week. Dix has been vocal in her frustration with the state not including gyms in its phased business reopenings.

“I’m concerned about how realistic his guidelines will be for gyms,” Dix said of the governor. “Obviously, we’ll make whatever we have to work but, I’m a bit anxious about what his requirements will be.

“Sunday marks five months since our industry was forced to close our doors. It has been six and a half weeks since we were excluded, last minute, from Phase 4 (in the Western New York region). Many fitness facilities have already been forced to close their doors permanently. There are still a lot of questions that need answered. There’s still a lot left unanswered for the fitness industry and we will not quit.”

Greg Craft, co-owner of Chautauqua Health & Fitness on Central Avenue in Dunkirk, said he too has been eagerly awaiting guidelines.

“We’re excited to see the state is starting to take the wellness of their citizens seriously,” Craft said. “Chautauqua Health & Fitness is ready to reopen safely, and we’re anxiously awaiting our reopening guidelines. We can’t wait to get our members back into the facility and working towards their health goals.”

New York allows certain low-risk, outdoors recreation including tennis, canoeing, golf, badminton, shuffleboard, zip lining, batting cages, shooting ranges and swim classes. Gyms and fitness centers can also offer outdoor activities.

But owners of bowling alleys and gym, fitness studios and movie theaters had held a press conference Thursday calling on New York to release health and safety guidance for their industries.

“Since the start of Phase 4, these businesses have been totally left behind, and I am hearing from countless constituents who are at a loss as the state has gone radio silent, refusing to answer questions or provide even a timeline for when they can expect to receive guidelines that would allow them to plan for a safe reopening,” state Sen. Sue Serino, a Republican, said in a statement Thursday.

NO NEW CASES

Four active cases of COVID-19 remain, the Chautauqua County Department of Health announced Friday. No new cases were reported.

The county Health Department said 80 residents remain in quarantine/isolation under orders from the public health director. Not all of those being monitored are confirmed to have COVID-19 but have either shown symptoms, are awaiting results or have risk factors.

In addition, 1,194 people were under domestic traveler quarantine for having arrived to Chautauqua County from a state listed on the New York state travel advisory.

To date there have been 250 recoveries, 263 confirmed cases and 27,728 negative test results.

The Associated Press contributed to this story.

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