Local gyms, zoos, entertainment venues prepare for Phase 3 reopening

'I feel really good about it. It just means that we’re moving forward'

ROANOKE, Va. – Whether you’re hitting the gym, dining in or hoping to catch some live music, there’s going to be a lot more to see in Phase 3 of Virginia’s reopening.

Starting July 1, gyms and other fitness centers will be able to open at 75% capacity.

“I feel really good about it. It just means that we’re moving forward,” said Julie Moore, the senior director of operations at Carilion Wellness.

Carilion Wellness is moving in stages slower than the governor’s guidelines. Carilion’s gyms are still at 30% capacity with about 130 people, keeping guests 15 feet apart when they work out, and sanitizing equipment after each use.

A man exercises at Carilion Wellness in Roanoke.
A man exercises at Carilion Wellness in Roanoke. (WSLS)

The gym just added another group fitness class and reopened some showers. Moore said she’s excited to eventually get more people back in the door.

“From a health standpoint it’s wonderful. I mean, there has been so many people that have just been sitting around and not doing any kind of physical activity and that’s not good for your physical or emotional health,” said Moore. “Being able to come back and get back into part of their daily routine has been very important to them,” said Moore.

Museums, zoos and other outdoor venues can open at 50% capacity with a cap at 1,000 people.

Mill Mountain Zoo Co-Director of Operations Derek Kellogg said the eased restrictions will allow them to hold 75 people instead of 50, and open the indoor reptile house and gift shop.

“I think we’re all really excited,” said Kellogg.

The challenge will be ensuring people follow the new traffic flow at the zoo and maintain social distancing at each exhibit.

“So that we can make sure that there aren’t too many people congregating in one area, especially in an indoor setting,” said Kellogg.

Rosie’s Gaming in Vinton posted on Facebook saying it will reopen next week with a 280 person capacity. It will be first come, first served and face coverings will be required.

As Virginians slowly return to a new normal, Moore warned that people should not rush into letting their guard down.

“The virus is still out there,” said Moore. “So it’s important to really still take those precautions.”

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