With all the heavy breathing, fitness locations may be one of the most challenged businesses to reassure members that it’s safe to come back.
There hasn’t been official word when gyms and fitness centers will reopen in Broward County, but CycleBar in Fort Lauderdale is already taking a proactive approach. It’s planning an array of cleaning and social distancing steps, but also turning to air purification technology.
It has installed a REME HALO system, which is made by RGF Environmental of Riviera Beach. REME stands for reflective electromagnetic energy. The system is placed in air ducts to produce hydro-peroxide plasma that is distributed through the air handler, the duct system and into rooms, RGF’s website says.
A CycleBar press release says REME HALO actively distributes hydro-peroxide throughout the cycling theatre, community room, and front lobby and disinfects every surface that comes in contact with the air. Hydrogen peroxide is a proven disinfectant with 99 percent efficacy in neutralizing viruses, bacteria and mold. When SARS-CoV arrived in Canada in 2003, accelerated hydrogen peroxide became the recommended disinfectant technology of choice by healthcare providers.
“Safety and the wellness of our riders and our staff is always our first priority,” says Barbara Fleming, CycleBar Fort Lauderdale franchise owner and operator. “We installed the REME HALO in order to prepare for our studio to reopen, even before we know exactly when we will start in-person classes again. We are also adding touchless hand sanitizer stations and water bottle refill stations to minimize contact. By staying ahead of the curve and planning for the future, we can make sure we are one of the safest studio workouts once we reopen.”
REME HALO is effective against particulates, microbials and gases and has been thoroughly tested to safely remove the risks of airborne and surface bacteria, mold spores and viruses, such as MRSA, e-coli, and Norwalk, the CycleBar press release said. Its benefits and features include:
- Dual ionizers to reduce airborne particulates (dust, dander, pollen, mold spores)
- Killing up to 99 percent of bacteria, mold and viruses
- Reducing sneeze germs by 99 percent in the time a sneeze can reach three feet.
- New zinc ions Killing 99 percent of viruses on surfaces through the use of zinc ions.
- Reducing odors, particulates, smoke and volatile organic compounds.
The systems have been approved by the USDA and FDA for use in food processing and manufacturing plants to reduce microbial contamination of food being processed. Cruise lines, restaurants and grocery stores use it as a safety measure against Norwalk Virus outbreaks. The U.S. military has approved it for mold reduction in field hospitals. Hospitals also use it to fight staph infections with a 99 percent reduction.
The systems are in short supply amid the current pandemic, CycleBar’s news release noted.
All of CycleBar’s classes will be launched with a minimum of six feet between riders, the company said. Cyclists will be the only ones to touch equipment after it has been sterilized. Attendees are asked to arrive early and will be released one by one in rows to facilitate social distancing.
CycleBar is located at 625 N. Federal Highway, but has a program also to rent bikes.
CycleBar also has a list of other measures it is taking, including:
- Deep cleaning of every area of the studio.
- Medical grade sanitizer, disinfectants and hand soap.
- Health checks for riders every time they book a class. The booking window has been cut from 12 hours to 4 hours to provide a shorter time for riders to confirm they are not ill.
- Allotting a half hour between all class to provide time to sanitize bikes.
- Staff will not be permitted to work if they feel ill or have a temperature and their temperature will be taken.
- Staff will be required to wear face masks/coverings as well as gloves.
- Staff/Instructors will be required to maintain 6 feet distance from each other and riders and will be assigned zones.
- Bike set up assistance will now be done visually and verbally as well as a pre-class video.
- Rider touchless check in—either on their phone using their app or upon arrival a team member will check them in.
- Pre-assigning lockers to ensure proper social distancing.
- Requesting that riders bring their own towel.
- Discontinuing post-class cold face towels.