As permitted by the governor’s office, many gyms and fitness centers in Genesee County reopened on Monday, but there remains a great deal of confusion as to what the owners of these facilities need to do to keep their doors open.
That’s the word from County Manager Matt Landers, who addressed the legislature this afternoon at its monthly meeting at the Old County Courthouse.
Landers said the county health department reached out to about 25 businesses and “less than half of them understood the process going forward.”
“And that’s only a snapshot of what’s out there,” he added.
According to state guidelines, these varied facilities (gyms and fitness centers, yoga and Pilates studies, boxing centers, boot camps, and dance and martial arts studios, etc.) are subject to a county health inspection within two weeks of their opening to ensure proper protocols are in place and adhere to State guidelines to protect customers and staff.
“A lot of these facilities are opening and didn’t have follow-up guidelines or make appointments with the health department,” Landers said. “It seems that they were excited and opened without reading the second part of the information that came out.”
Landers said the county health department is currently performing these inspections, but city, town and village code enforcement officers may be called upon to assist.
“You don’t have to be a nurse … to certify that the HVAC system and safety plan is in place,” he said
He also mentioned the possibility of the Genesee County Chamber of Commerce setting up a Zoom information session for owners of these types of businesses.
Reopening requirements include:
- Developing a business safety plan;
- Having a heating, ventilation and air condition inspection by an approved professional;
- Completing an affirmation that the state guidelines are understood and will be implemented.
Once the business safety plan and air handling inspection are complete and an attestation form is submitted, Genesee and Orleans Counties will begin the process of scheduling inspections. These steps must be completed prior to scheduling an inspection. For Genesee County call (585) 344-2580, ext. 5555, and for Orleans County call (585) 589-3278.
In other developments, legislators:
-- Accepted $258,726 in funding from the state Department of Health to be used by the Genesee County Public Health Department for COVID-19 contact tracing, overtime and supplies, with expenses over that amount to be partially offset by state aid.
-- Re-appointed Kathryn Ribbeck and Janet Olivieri to the GLOW Workforce Development Board through 2022. Ribbeck is the human resources manager at O-AT-KA Milk Products Cooperative, Inc., Batavia, and Olivieri is human resources manager at Lapp Insulators LLC, Le Roy.
-- Approved a contract with Empire Access to provide an independent internet circuit for the Board of Elections’ two locations at County Building II on West Main Street Road. The contract will run for 36 months at a cost of $285 per month.
-- Created a full-time position of epidemiologist or community health nurse, effective Aug. 31, 2020, with the salary and fringe benefits allocated for in the 2020 health department budget. The position is fully covered by COVID-19 funding until June 30, 2022.
-- Accepted a $250 donation from Linda Keister in memory of Batavian Kathy Owen to go toward an environmental program for Genesee County youth at Genesee County Park and Forest Interpretive Nature Center in Bethany.