Insight from Dr. David Reich, president and chief operating officer of The Mount Sinai Hospital in New York.
A group of 20 to 30 protesters in Florida, who weren’t wearing masks or practicing social distancing, opposed the continued coronavirus pandemic shutdown of gyms with push-ups and squats outside the Pinellas County Courthouse in Clearwater on Monday morning, according to a report.
Hair and nail salons along with barber shops began reopening in much of Florida on Monday.
Gov. Ron DeSantis allowed such businesses to reopen with tight regulations except in hard-hit Miami-Dade and Broward counties, the state’s two most populous. That comes almost six weeks after they were ordered closed statewide — some counties closed them earlier — and one week after sit-down dining was allowed in most of the state’s restaurants, also with heavy restrictions such as limiting capacity to 25 percent of normal.
The state has ordered that barbers, cosmetologists and manicurists wear masks when seeing customers, that they require appointments so that few people will be waiting inside and that they spend 15 minutes between each customer sanitizing the work station.
Gyms won’t reopen until Florida reaches Phase Two of the governor’s reopening plan.
People protest for re-opening the economy at a faster rate outside the Old Pinellas County Courthouse, amid the coronavirus crisis, in Clearwater, Florida, U.S. May 11, 2020 in this still image taken from a social media video. (JOZEF GHERMAN/ FACEBOOK/ OPEN TAMPA BAY/via REUTERS)
Tom Cove, president and CEO of the Sports and Fitness Industry Association trade group, said he is optimistic that health clubs and fitness professionals can weather the hardship of gym closure. In addition to physical and social benefits, he said, the gym industry prides itself on offering hygienic spaces to exercise.
“We believe that this is generating a pent-up demand that will come back very strong,” Cove said. “Health clubs are in the health business.”
The state of Florida took the first baby step out of the economic abyss caused by the new coronavirus shutdown Monday while it works toward clearing a backlog of unemployment claims that haven’t been paid.
DeSantis said more than 166,000 new claimants were approved over the weekend and were paid more than $400 million. Overall, the state says it has paid more than 650,000 unemployed workers $1.5 billion.
Almost 41,000 Floridians have been diagnosed with COVID-19 since early March and at least 1,735 have died.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.