CLAY, N.Y. (WSYR-TV) — Gyms, movie theaters, and malls have yet to get the green light from Gov. Andrew Cuomo. As Central New York heads into Phase Four on Friday, these facilities were excluded from his latest guidelines and business owners are stuck in limbo.
The CNY Gymnastics Centre inside the Great Northern Mall is ready and eager to reopen and frustrated they still don’t have a date to set their eyes on.
“We’ve been waiting and dying to get back. We just feel so bad that we can’t give anyone a straight answer as to when we’re opening,” said Michelle Gregory, the gym’s co-owner.
The bars and beams inside the gym have been empty since March 16. “It’s very difficult to survive,” said Gregory.
Even though their doors are closed they still have bills to pay, but they really want to reopen for the kids. “Getting them on the equipment, it’s going to take a while for them to get their skills back, it really is,” said Gregory.
The staff spent weeks figuring out how to reopen the right way. They can’t spot children because of the six-foot social distancing guideline and they have to keep gymnasts far enough apart, so they’re relearning how to use the equipment in a new way.
Gregory says they’ll be putting up plexiglass, using something called Spot TV to let parents watch their kids from the car or their home, putting out social distancing markers on the mat, and grouping gymnasts in pods to limit their exposure.
“We’ve ordered extra hand sanitizer so we’re gonna be putting hand sanitizer stations around the gym,” said Gregory. “After every rotation coaches will clean off the stations that the kids were working on.”
They’re just waiting on guidance from the governor, who is now citing air conditioners as a reason why he doesn’t know when they’ll reopen.
Air conditioning may not be cleansing the air of the virus and just recirculating the virus so we’re studying that and as soon as we get some more information we’ll make an informed decision.Gov. Andrew Cuomo
Until then — beams will be empty, doors will stay closed, and leotards will go unworn.
CNY Gymnastics has another location in DeWitt and because that facility is not connected to a mall, Gregory says they are expected to reopen — with limited capacity — on July 6.
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For more local news, follow Nicole Sommavilla on Twitter @NeSommavilla.