JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – Now that there are 18 confirmed cases of coronavirus in Florida with two known deaths, News4Jax wanted to find out what local gyms are doing to prevent the potential spread of the virus.
We went to multiple fitness centers around town and found out managers and franchise owners were not allowed to talk to us on camera about what their gyms are doing to prevent the spread of COVID-19. But that didn’t stop News4Jax from getting the information off-camera.
At Anytime Fitness in Lakewood, the franchise owners are using a disinfectant called Rejuvnal. It’s the same disinfectant used in most intensive care units that can kill human coronaviruses. Members have access to the spray bottles and cloths to keep equipment sanitized after each use. But according to a chemist who works for the company that produces Rejuvenal, it takes 10 minutes for the disinfectant to be effective on coronavirus. So now the owners of this gym are in the process of switching to a solution called QT3 which is much more powerful and can kill coronavirus in half the time.
A manager at a Jacksonville Planet Fitness says the gym is already using both Rejuvenal and QT3. They also have a sign in place reminding people to wipe down equipment after each use.
“Every person that gets done with a machine is supposed to wash it down by hand. Generally, most people do it, but you have the one disrespectful person who may or may not do it," said Planet Fitness member Bryson Starling.
Another Planet Fitness member told News4Jax the bigger concern, in their opinion, is the possibility of the virus spreading through the air in a confined space.
Another member sees things differently.
“To me, the gym is one of the safe places," Ramama Charda said. "The reason being is people who go to the gym are typically healthy people. So, I never have a concern of getting a virus at a gym and personally, I don’t use disinfectants, Lysol and anti-bacterial. I let the body take care of it.”
Local Orange Theory Fitness members were emailed a letter explaining the importance of wiping down equipment and asking members to stay at home if they are coughing, sneezing, have a fever and are experiencing shortness of breath.
Gym owners also encourage members to thoroughly wash their hands because COVID-19 can last long periods of time on surfaces we touch.