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story.lead_photo.caption A sanitation station for Gym Box members is near the free weights so guests can clean equipment and sanitize their hands. Gym Box has color-coordinated sanitizers by type and have sanitation stations throughout the gym, entry and exit, and locker and bathrooms. Gym Box employees also do regular cleanings throughout the day. Photo by Josh Richert / Texarkana Gazette.

TEXARKANA, Texas — Gyms across the country are taking preventative measures against the coronavirus pandemic.

GymBox, located on the Texas-side, have taken precautionary measures since news broke of COVID-19.

David Nelson, general manager of GymBox, is preparing his staff for what's possibly ahead, from attendance numbers to proper sanitizing methods.

"Of course those numbers are going to dwindle due to the virus scare, and some of our members are at home with their children," Nelson said. "All the numbers are determined by the underlying factors. Our numbers have definitely declined as we stay under the guidelines that were requested."

Nelson has implemented hand sanitizer and also machine cleaning wipes at every station throughout the gym at and it's also color coordinated for customers.

Employees at Gym Box do regular cleanings at the gym throughout the day. The gym is practicing key sanitization amid the coronavirus pandemic.
Photo by Josh Richert/Texarkana Gazette.

"We added to our employee stations full hand-sanitizing equipment," Nelson said. "Our guys actually walk around with hand sanitizer on their key rings as well. We've put hand sanitizer and equipment sanitizer at every station in the gym and its also with bold lettering so our customers can't miss it.

"Our members come in and our employees instruct them to remember to wash their hands. We've also tried to give out as many reminders as we can. We want to ensure our members safety and health on the back end, as well as when they enter our gym with added knowledge to what's going on. We want to see more, do more and say more."

On Thursday, Texas Gov. Greg Abbott placed a ban on gatherings of groups of more than 10 people. Abbott's order also will shut down gyms and bars and restrict access to nursing homes. The order takes effect at 11:59 p.m. Friday through April 3, according to the governor's office.

GymBox has 2,500 members, so Nelson and his staff are preparing on possibly changing daily operations once gyms are able to open.

"Well, the governor has asked the gyms to close at midnight on Friday," Nelson said. "We're going to literally stay open until midnight on Friday. We have members now that would like keys so they can get in until Friday. It's supposed to be from Friday at midnight until April 3. What we plan to do in that time period is come in as a staff and do a deep cleaning of the gym. We're going to eradicate anything that might be existing in any form in our gym. We're going to make sure our gym is in the highest level.

"We're all about our community," Nelson continued." We plan on expanding our member base once all this is said and done. Our main focus is to help people reach their goals physically and mentally. Going forward after this, we plan on growing."

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