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Road To Reopening: NYC Museums Welcome Back Visitors, Gyms Open Across State

NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) -- It's the day fitness buffs have been waiting for. Gyms were allowed to reopen Monday at 33% capacity across New York State, but not yet in the city.

Gov. Andrew Cuomo gave the green light, but said it's up to local officials to decide if they want to delay the timeline. New York City will wait another week.

On Long Island, people couldn't wait to hit the treadmill again, after gyms had been closed for nearly six months, CBS2's Natalie Duddridge reported Monday.

"I feel great. I'm so happy that it opened. I haven't worked out since March since they closed," said Inesha West.

"I'll put it this way, I gained 20 pounds because I wasn't in the gym. In regards to mental attitude... it's definitely a plus," said Phil Marshall.


24 Hour Fitness in Valley Stream is open with plenty of new guidelines in place, and closes overnight to undergo cleaning.

From the moment gym members step through the door, they see noticeable changes.

They must book a time slot in advance to workout in order to maintain the gym's limited capacity, fill out health forms and wear a mask while exercising.

State guidelines mandate social distancing - every other machine is blocked off. Members are asked to wipe down equipment and sanitize constantly.

Many said they're OK with the restrictions.

"Overly pumped, because I've been waiting for the longest. Every so often, I would do a drive-by and check," said Marshall.

The gym shuts down every 90 minutes for a half hour of cleaning.

"Feels a little weird, when you've had a routine for so long and now you come back and it's kind of eerie ," said Kevin McKay.

Group classes and the basketball court (areas considered "high-touch") are closed for at least a few more weeks.

24 Hour Fitness is keeping showers closed too, even though the state said showers can open if they're cleaned after each use.

"Right now, the amenities are closed... the pool area, the wet area, the showers. Locker rooms are open. Obviously, we're enforcing 'the four W's...' Wear a mask, wash your hands, wipe down your equipment, work out six feet apart," said Cameron Duff, district manager for New Jersey and New York.

Mayor Bill de Blasio recently announced New York City gyms can't reopen until Sept. 2 because the city did not have enough inspectors available.

Brooklyn Borough President Eric Adams joined founders of Boutique Fitness Studios on Monday to demand group classes reopen. But, there's still no date in sight.

"It has been an extremely long time coming," said Maxwell Awosanya.

Museums and cultural institutions in New York City, however, were allowed to welcome visitors Monday.

The Statue of Liberty Museum and Ellis Island National Museum of Immigration are reopening. Other museums, like the Met and MoMA, plan to reopen later this week.

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