Finding a New Normal for In-Person Instruction

ACTIVE Network
August 12, 2020

Depending on local conditions, your organization may be gearing up to re-open and return to “the new normal.” Keeping members and staff safe while continuing to offer quality programming is probably at the top of your list, but the logistics will take some extra work. Whether you’re hosting a community event or an aerobics class, the following suggestions can help you plan and prepare with safety in mind.

Adjust Class Size - According to a poll conducted by the market research firm, Morning Consult, 60 percent of gym members said they would feel safer in smaller classes. Accordingly, now might be the time to consider more intimate gatherings. For example, if your classroom can fit 30 people, consider capping attendance at 10 or 15. If your staffing situation allows for it, encourage small group or one-on-one training sessions in place of large classes.

Re-Think Location - In the same poll, 60% or respondents also said they’d prefer if classrooms were re-designed to encourage space and social distancing. Consider holding classes or events that don’t require equipment or up close interaction. If it’s feasible, you may want to explore the idea of holding events outside. Can you host a lecture under an outdoor pavilion? Or replace an indoor dance class with one held outside? Think creatively about your space and climate and see what you can come up with.

Require Pre-Registration - Asking your community to reserve spots ahead of time can help you keep attendance numbers in check. Requiring reservations also provides information for contact tracing, if necessary.

Double Down on Hygiene - According to Morning Consult, two-thirds of gym goers said they would feel better with more hand sanitizer available. In addition to hand sanitizer and soap, it’s a good idea to keep disinfectant solutions well stocked and increase cleaning of high touch areas like handles, doorknobs and equipment. Be sure any cleaning products you use are EPA-approved to be effective against the Sars-COV-2 virus. If you stock a wide variety of equipment (e.g. dumb bells, kettlebells, foam rollers, children’s toys, etc.), consider temporarily paring it down to the essentials. The fewer surfaces you have to clean, the safer everyone will be.

Consider Health Checks and Face Masks - Depending on your organization’s unique situation, you might want to conduct health or body temperature screenings before classes or events. But keep in mind that many people with COVID-19 don’t exhibit a fever. Some states are requiring face masks in public places while in other areas, masks are optional. If you ask members to mask up, keep in mind that a damp, sweaty face covering may not do a great job of filtering out virus particles. At the very least, you may want to require staff to wear masks and gloves or sit behind plastic partitions.

Virtual Teaching - Finally, if you have members or instructors that fall under the high-risk category, you may want to add virtual options. For example, if an instructor doesn’t feel comfortable teaching in a group setting, can you live stream a class of them teaching at home?

DISCLAIMER: FOR REOPENING SAFELY, IT IS IMPORTANT TO FOLLOW YOUR LOCAL OR STATE ORDERS. THIS INFORMATION IS NOT MEDICAL, HEALTH OR LEGAL ADVICE AND ACTIVE NETWORK, LLC IS PROVIDING THESE SUGGESTIONS BASED ON GUIDELINES PROVIDED BY THE CENTER FOR DISEASE CONTROL AND PREVENTION (CDC).ACTIVE NETWORK, LLC DOES NOT MAKE ANY REPRESENTATION THAT FOLLOWING THESE STEPS WILL PREVENT ANY CURRENT OR FUTURE INFECTIONS OR SICKNESSES OF YOUR EMPLOYEES OR CUSTOMERS AND ACTIVE NETWORK, LLC WILL NOT BE HELD LIABLE FOR ANY RESULTS,POTENTIAL INFECTIONS, OR LEGAL CONSEQUENCES IF YOU DECIDE TO REOPEN YOUR FACILITY/CAMPS/EVENTS BY FOLLOWING THESE SUGGESTED GUIDELINES.

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