Northern Fitness plans reopening – Mount Airy News

This sign shows the name change when Northern Hospital merged with Pro Health in 2015. Northern Fitness Center is planning to reopen on Labor Day after being closed for almost half a year.

The Mount Airy News

<img src="https://s24476.pcdn.co/wp-content/uploads/2020/09/125610323_web1_Boxing1.jpg" alt="

Back in 2016, instructor Dean Carpenter, left, trains Richard Crawford in an introductory session of boxing for Parkinson’s patients at the wellness and fitness center.

The Mount Airy News

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Back in 2016, instructor Dean Carpenter, left, trains Richard Crawford in an introductory session of boxing for Parkinson’s patients at the wellness and fitness center.

The Mount Airy News

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Before the pandemic forced the center closed, Rylee Haynes, Northern Regional Hospital employee, gets some weight training tips from Dean Carpenter, Northern Fitness Center manager and a long-time trainer.

Northern Regional Hospital

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Before the pandemic forced the center closed, Rylee Haynes, Northern Regional Hospital employee, gets some weight training tips from Dean Carpenter, Northern Fitness Center manager and a long-time trainer.

Northern Regional Hospital

On Tuesday Gov. Roy Cooper announced “Phase 2.5” has started, which among other things allows gyms, bowling alleys and other indoor recreational facilities to open at a reduced 30% capacity.

That’s good news for fitness enthusiasts who have been hankering for workout machines. For hospital staff, it also meant putting in some time to come up with the appropriate strategy to reopen Northern Fitness Center off Galax Trail.

The governor’s announcement said these facilities could open this weekend, but Northern Regional Hospital said it would have everything ready to go at the fitness center by Monday morning, starting at 8 a.m.

The Fitness Center, an entity of the hospital for the past five years, has been anxiously waiting the green light to reopen doors to its nearly 6,000 members, according to Ashly Lancaster, director of marketing. The 30,000-square-foot facility closed its doors following the governor’s executive order #141 on March 18.

Lancaster said the center has been anything but quiet during the past five months as gym employees and contractors have worked tirelessly to give the property a top-to-bottom facelift.

In addition to weeks of deep cleaning the floors, walls, rafters and workout equipment, the team oversaw fresh coats of paint throughout the fitness center, including the walls, floor and pool of the indoor swimming area.

The hardwood floors in the basketball gym and yoga room were also refinished during the mandatory closure.

“Everything looks better than when we opened 20 years ago,” said Dean Carpenter, long-time instructor and fitness center manager dating back to the days when it was named Pro Health. “We cannot wait to welcome back our members and the community next week.”

The reopening will come with some restrictions in place to comply with the latest executive order and precautionary COVID-19 safety measures.

Executive Order #163 allows the facility to operate at 30% of its occupancy or seven customers per 1,000 square feet in the indoor areas, noted Lancaster.

Center staff will be performing additional sanitation protocols in high-traffic areas throughout the day. To help maintain required 6 feet social distancing, the center says cardio equipment, such as treadmills, will be limited to every other machine.

Northern Fitness Center requires all center patrons enter the facility with a mask and keep theat mask on until they are at their workout station as required by the executive order. However, gym patrons are not required to stay masked during strenuous exercise.

Temperature screenings will take place prior to entry to the fitness center area and anyone with a temperature more than 100 degrees will not be allowed to enter.

Temporary hours of operation for Northern Fitness Center will be to Monday to Friday, 8 a.m. until 8 p.m. and Saturday 8 a.m. to noon, and closed on Sunday. The exception to this schedule is the first day back which falls on Monday’s Labor Day; for the sake of the holiday, the center will be open just four hours — from 8 a.m. to noon.

The center says it looks forward to returning to regular business hours in the near future.

Some of the other state restrictions that affect the reopening include temporary closure of childcare services, protein shake bar and showers.

Final indoor pool renovations are wrapping up, and the indoor pool is set to open within the next 7-10 days. Lancaster directed those interested to the Northern Fitness Center Facebook or Instagram pages for the latest updates.

Reach Jeff at 415-4692.

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Author: HOCAdmin