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It’s no longer a joke: the coronavirus, otherwise known as COVID-19, has been called a pandemic by the World Health Organization. More than 1,600 people in the U.S. have contracted virus – which causes fevers, shortness of breath, and, in extreme cases, death – and close to 5,000 people worldwide have died as of publishing.
Odds are some aspect of your life has been impacted by COVID-19, whether that’s your investment in the stock market, your favorite sports league postponing its season, or an event like the Arnold Sports Festival being canceled.
Despite all that, most gyms have continued to remain open during the outbreak. After all, keeping the body healthy has been shown to improve your chances of warding off any virus or bacteria.
Some iron paradises have been forced to temporarily shut down due to government mandates. Gyms in New York, New Jersey, and Connecticut were ordered to shutter starting March 16 along with movie theaters and casinos. Similar measures have been taken in Los Angeles, which ordered gyms closed through at least March 31.
Gyms that remain open have taken increased measures to ensure their patrons stay healthy and fit. And they’re right to do so. According to a report from the World Health Organization, coronavirus strains can live on stainless steel surfaces (think barbells and machine handles) for 72 hours and for 96 hours on glass.
Let’s face it, your local gym rat is disgusting even on a good day. There’s a very low chance they’re going around and wiping down their equipment before and after each use, but gyms are taking extra precautions in light of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Here’s how some of the top fitness chains are responding to the coronavirus outbreak.
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