ORLANDO, Fla. -- Many gyms are not following the rules, and that’s putting people at risk, according to the mayor of Orange County.
What You Need To Know
- Mayor Jerry Demings says gyms are not following social distancing guidelines
- Says many people are not wearing masks
- Concerned gyms could become COVID-19 hot spots
Mayor Jerry Demings said he’s receiving reports that many gyms in Central Florida are crowded.
While Florida's Phase 2 reopening order allows gyms to operate at full capacity, the state says they must adhere to social distancing guidelines.
As Florida becomes one of the country’s new coronavirus epicenters, he’s concerned that people trying to get ripped could end up getting COVID-19 instead.
“In most cases, many of them are not wearing masks. And we are going to increase our inspections of gyms," Mayor Demings said during his daily coronavirus briefing Thursday.
He said all businesses should be following county, state and federal guidelines to help protect the people of Central Florida from the pandemic.
That means adhering to social distancing guidelines and requiring masks.
Orange County's mask mandate does makes an exception for wearing masks while exercising if the participants are social distancing. It does not specify whether the people exercising must be indoors or outdoors.
Crunch Fitness CEO Vince Julian told Spectrum News 13 said his gym is doing more than just Florida Phase 2 guidelines.
“People in masks, personal trainers in masks, people checking in with masks … We temperature check every single member coming in that club. People have had memberships suspended because they do not really want to comply,” Julian said.
He said the building’s occupancy limit is 706 people, which at 50% capacity would be around 350.
“It can look fairly busy even with 150 people in it. It’s going to look like a very active gym, but at the same time you’re at 25% capacity of that building,” Julian explained.
But Orange County leaders say they’ll be cracking down on gyms that aren’t in compliance.
“(We'll) assemble likely teams of individuals that will do surprise inspections perhaps. If I were a gym owner, I would not want to risk having my individual business shut down because I simply did not comply,” Demings said.
The mayor said officials could enforce compliance at the county level, as well as the state level.
According to Gov. Ron DeSantis’s executive order from May18, gyms are supposed to operate at 50% capacity. His more recent executive order from June 5, did not specify if that changed, although an infographic from the state says gyms can open at 100% capacity. We’ve reached out to the Governor’s office for clarification on this.