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Jacksonville's Leading Local News: Weather, Traffic, Sports and more | Jacksonville, Florida | FirstCoastNews.com

Gym, fitness centers eye reopening as DeSantis expected to announce timeline Friday

Eight Orangetheory locations on the First Coast have been closed for about eight weeks. These locations are now working to follow social distancing guidelines.

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. — Like many fitness enthusiasts, Heath Ellenberger is anxious to get back to a regular work out routine.

"People are ready to start moving around and becoming active again," he told First Coast News. 

He's an operational partner for Orangetheory Fitness at eight First Coast locations. 

They've been closed for about eight weeks, meaning roughly 90 employees were furloughed.

"At the time, we didn't know how long this was going to last. We were thinking two to three weeks and now we are almost two months," Ellenberger said. 

When his locations reopen, he says there will be some changes, including six feet between equipment. Employees will be required to wear masks and everyone will have their temperature taken before classes. 

"We are going to take the steps that we need to, that we feel 100 percent comfortable and that we got everything down so we can open. We feel responsible that we are doing that the best way we can," he said. 

Ellenberger is not alone. The owner of Body Control Gym in Bartram Springs is tapping off 8x8 foot spaces to keep people apart. 

Ellenberger and his staff recently did a practice run, giving themselves 15 minutes between workouts to wipe down and sanitize the equipment which he says will be done multiple times a day when he reopens.