Do Not Squander the Sacrifices That We Have All Made Over the Past Five Months…

Just as meeting certain health metrics allowed Illinois to move to Phase 4, health metrics may also trigger a return to a prior phase if we are not careful.

Keep in mind that COVID-19 is NOT the same thing as the flu. The only thing COVID-19 and flu patients have in common are some of the symptoms. COVID-19 is far deadlier and more contagious. And there is no vaccine or effective treatment for COVID-19...yet.

So as scientists around the world work on developing a vaccine and viable treatment for this insidious disease, it is critical for businesses and individuals to follow current CDC and OSHA guidelines to prevent the spread of COVID-19. For instance, during Phase 4 Masks and physical distancing are still the norm.

Government officials through public health care agencies have promised to closely monitor key metrics to immediately identify trends in cases and hospitalizations to determine whether a return to a prior phase may become necessary. The last thing we want to do is squander the sacrifices that we have all made over the past five months. Follow these simple precautions to stay safe:

  • Stay home if you are sick
  • Stay at least 6 feet away from others
  • Wear a mask in public
  • Wash your hands often, with soap and water, for at least 20 seconds each time
  • Use hand sanitizer if soap and water are not available

Keeping You Safe…

Chicago Athletic Clubs are using these engineering controls, administrative controls, cleaning and disinfecting routines and personal protective equipment (PPE) necessary to keep employees and members safe:

Engineering controls –

  • Plexiglass installed at to front desk stations so that members and guests can continue to chat with staff safely.
  • Removed furniture to keep members from congregating at any point.
  • Limited the number of people who can be in the facility at a given time.
  • Posted temporary occupancy limit signs in each area of the facility.
  • installed floor markers and directional markers to maintain physical distancing while checking- in, in locker rooms, in workout areas, etc.
  • Disabled cardio equipment allowing ample space between members on the cardio floors and areas.
  • Rearranged weight floor design to allow for more space between machines.
  • Equipment unavailable to allow physical distancing and is marked with signs.
  • Basketball courts, steam rooms and saunas are temporarily closed.
  • Restricted class size to ensure that there is at least 6 feet separation between members.
  • Capped classes at a certain set number based on room size.
  • Required advance sign-up that will open 24 hours before the start of class through the CAC app.
  • Required group fitness class participants to arrive at the studio as close to class time as possible to avoid over crowding outside the studio.
  • Marked spots on the floor for equipment placement that reinforces 6 feet separation between members.

Administrative controls –

  • Strict physical distancing guidelines will be enforced. Greet without physical contact. Employees must avoid handshakes and hugs while greeting and interacting with colleagues. No high fives, no postural adjustments, etc.
  • Increase the use of verbal cueing or demonstrating over physical touch cues. Ask clients to set their own treadmill speeds and weights, and to retrieve and put away their own equipment.
  • Instructors should announce distancing guidelines at the beginning of class, and all employees should remind members to wipe down equipment before and after use. Setting up and changing weights, mats, or other equipment for clients can feel like an important component of excellent customer service, but remind members that, during an outbreak, it makes more sense to avoid touching the same surfaces.
  • Members are required to bring their own yoga mats to yoga class.
  • Water fountains for refilling water bottles only.
  • To help employees remain healthy, Chicago Athletic Clubs has hand sanitizer (with at least 60% alcohol) and disinfecting products available throughout the facility. Employees should wash their hands more frequently than normal and encourage members to do the same.

Cleaning and disinfecting –

  • More gym wipe stations throughout the gym for easier access to wipe down equipment before and after use.
  • More hand sanitizer stations throughout the gym.
  • Disinfecting fogging machines to clean studios between group fitness classes.
  • Nightly deep cleaning.
  • Install air purification systems using ActivePure technology to eliminate contaminants and pathogens in the air and on surfaces.
  • Safety Data Sheets (SDS) for cleaning and disinfecting supplies are available from Facility Management.

    Masks –

    • Studies show that people with minimal or no symptoms can still have COVID-19.
    • MASKS DO WORK. A mask may not protect the wearer, but it may keep the wearer from spreading the virus to others.
    • Masks are required at all locations, including Evanston, by all employees and members, at ALL times.
    • Masks must be worn over nose and mouth.
    • Chicago Athletic Clubs will provide employees with masks. Or, if employees prefer, they can wear their own masks. Employees are responsible for cleaning and disinfecting of masks, regardless of whether or not they were provided by Chicago Athletic Clubs.
    • According to the CDC, while wearing masks shouldn’t replace physical distancing, Masks can help prevent the transmission of COVID-19.


Per the CDC, COVID-19 spreads mainly from person to person through respiratory droplets produced when an infected person coughs, sneezes, talks, or raises their voice (e.g., while shouting, chanting, or singing). These droplets can possibly be inhaled into the lungs and infect persons nearby. Recent studies show that a significant portion of individuals with COVID-19 are pre-symptomatic and can transmit the virus to others before showing symptoms or even “asymptomatic” (people who may have the virus and do not know it).

Masks provide protection against larger respiratory droplets - this will slow the spread of the virus and help those who are pre-symptomatic or asymptomatic from transmitting it to others. However, masks may also give employees and members a false sense of security and lead them to think they are “safe” or cannot catch the virus if wearing one of these masks.

Masks are most likely to reduce the spread of COVID-19 when they are used by everyone. An important note is that masks ARE NOT a substitute for physical distancing. To use a mask properly:

  • Cover your nose and mouth and secure the mask under your chin.
  • Fit the mask snugly against the sides of your face.
  • Make sure you can breathe easily.
  • Don’t put the mask around your neck or up on your forehead.
  • Wash hands or use hand sanitizer immediately prior to removing, be extremely careful when removing them not to touch your eyes, nose or mouth, and wash hands or use hand sanitizer immediately after removing.
  • Wash reusable masks.

The spread of COVID-19 can be reduced when masks are used along with other preventive measures, including:

  • Staying home when you are sick.
  • Physical distancing.
  • Frequent hand washing.
  • Cleaning and disinfecting frequently touched.

Information from the CDC web site updated June 28, 2020: Use of Masks to Help Slow the Spread of COVID-19

COVID-19 Signs and Symptoms

COVID-19 affects different people in different ways. Infected people have had a wide range of symptoms reported – from mild symptoms to severe illness.

Symptoms may appear 2-14 days after exposure to the virus. People with these symptoms may have COVID-19:

  • Fever or chills
  • Cough
  • Shortness of breath or difficulty breathing
  • Fatigue
  • Muscle or body aches
  • Headache
  • Loss of taste or smell
  • Sore throat
  • Congestion or runny nose
  • Nausea or vomiting
  • Diarrhea

Look for emergency warning signs for COVID-19. If someone is showing any of these signs, seek emergency medical care immediately:

  • Trouble breathing
  • Persistent pain or pressure in the chest
  • New confusion
  • Inability to wake or stay awake
  • Bluish lips or face

Stay home if you are sick! Self-isolate and contact primary care provider (PCP) as soon as possible.

Returning to the world outside after COVID-19

The CDC is learning more about COVID-19 every day, and, as new information becomes available, the CDC updates its guidelines. Previously the CDC recommended that persons who tested positive for COVID-19 or those who were presumed COVID-19+ by their healthcare provider should self-quarantine for 14 days. Updated guidelines now allow persons to end self-quarantine and return to work well before the previously recommended 14-day period.

Updated CDC recommendations for discontinuing isolation for persons known to be infected with the virus that causes COVID-19 may appear to conflict with CDC recommendations on when to discontinue quarantine for persons who have only been exposed to the virus. However, recommends for how long to quarantine after exposure are based on the time it takes to develop COVID-19 if infected. Therefore, it is possible that a person who is infected could leave isolation earlier than a person who may be infected after exposure.


Duration of isolation and precautions

Persons with COVID-19 who have mild to moderate symptoms may discontinue isolation if all of the following conditions are met:

  • At least 10 days have passed since symptom onset and
  • At least 24 hours have passed with no fever without the use of fever-reducing medications and
  • Other symptoms have improved

Note the previous recommendation was to remain at home at least 72 hours after no fever and respiratory symptoms improved.



A limited number of persons with severe illness may produce replication-competent virus beyond 10 days, which may warrant extending duration of isolation and precautions for up to 20 days after symptom onset. Infection control experts should make this determination.)


Persons infected with SARS-CoV-2 who never develop COVID-19 symptoms may discontinue isolation and other precautions 10 days after the date of their first positive COVID-19 test.


Role of testing for discontinuing isolation or precautions

A test-based strategy could be considered in consultation with infectious diseases experts for persons who are severely immunocompromised. A test-based strategy is no longer recommended except to discontinue isolation or other precautions earlier than would occur under the symptom-based strategy for all others.


Information from the following CDC sites updated July 20, 2020: Duration of Isolation and Precautions for Adults with COVID-19 or Discontinuation of Isolation for Persons with COVID-19 Not in Healthcare Settings