Pictured Above: At the All Star in Riverhead.

Update: Monday, Aug. 17

Here’s New York Governor Andrew Cuomo’s Twitter short take on gym reopening measures:

Original Story Follows:

After being shuttered for nearly six months due to the coronavirus pandemic, bowling alleys are slated to be able to reopen in New York State Monday, and the state plans to issue guidance on reopening for gyms on Monday.

According to state guidelines issued Friday, bowling alleys will be able to operate at a 50 percent maximum occupancy as of Monday, Aug. 17. Face coverings and social distancing will be required at all times, every other lane must be closed, patrons need to stay with the party at their assigned lane, thorough cleaning and disinfection of shared or rented equipment between each use will be required, and all food service must follow state-issued guidance. 

This is welcome news for The All Star bowling alley on Route 58 in Riverhead, which put a large sign on its front lawn in late July stating “Governor Cuomo Please Let Us Reopen Bowling. We Are Ready!”

The All Star, which has a grill that has been open and plans to reopen its lanes Monday at 2 p.m., had been posting some of the safety precautions it has put in place on Facebook over the past several weeks, including CDC compliant air conditioning filters, UV sanitizing stations for rented balls and shoes, nanoseptic self-cleaning surface skins for frequently touched surfaces, touchless thermometer check-ins at the entrances, lane dividers and Plexiglas shields at customer service areas.

The All Star will be open by reservation only due to the capacity restrictions — reservations can be made on their website.

Gyms are currently allowed to hold exercise classes outdoors, but guidance on how to safely open indoor gym spaces is one of the last pieces to fall into place in the reopening puzzle, along with wedding venues and theaters.

About 1,500 gym owners across New York filed a class-action lawsuit against the state over the shutdown last week.

“We know gyms are highly problematic,” Governor Andrew Cuomo had said on Aug. 6. ” Not from our experience, because we haven’t opened them, but we know from the other states they’ve been highly problematic…. They opened them and they had to close them. That’s a fact.”

“The fitness industry is ready to reopen safely, with proper protocols in place to protect our employees and members,” said  Bill Lia, Chair of New York State Fitness Alliance, on Friday, Aug. 14. “We look forward to providing New Yorkers access to safe fitness facilities so they can advance their physical and mental health.”

The New York State Fitness Alliance, which represents more than 2,000 fitness businesses in the state, was formed earlier this year to develop plans to reopen safely.

Check back with this post for more details on the guidance for gyms on Monday.

Beth Young
Beth Young is an award-winning local journalist who has been covering the East End since the 1990s. She began her career at the Sag Harbor Express and, after receiving her Masters from the Columbia University Graduate School of Journalism, has reported for the Southampton Press, the East Hampton Press and the Times/Review Media Group. She founded the East End Beacon website in 2013, and a print edition in 2017. Beth was born and raised on the North Fork. In her spare time, she tinkers with bicycles, tries not to drown in the Peconic Bay and hopes to grow the perfect tomato. You can send her a message at editor@eastendbeacon.com

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