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story.lead_photo.caption Patrons of GymBox work out Wednesday at the local gym. Gyms have reopened under specific guidelines due to COVID-19. Photo by Josh Richert / Texarkana Gazette.

TEXARKANA, Texas — GymBox on the Texas side has reopened following Gov. Greg Abbott's mandate.

When it comes to the gyms that reopened on May 18, all gyms have to limit their capacity and keep showers and locker rooms closed, while restrooms can be open. Abbott also said that all equipment must be disinfected after each use and patrons should wear gloves that cover their entire hands, including the fingers.

Gym patrons should maintain social distancing. Finally, if customers bring their own equipment into the gym, such as a yoga mat, the equipment must be disinfected before and after each use.

David Nelson, general manager of GymBox, has thoroughly prepared his staff for the restrictions and guidelines passed down by the state.

"It's been great," Nelson said. "Members are honoring one another and also coming at separate times, so we can stay in the percentile the governor has asked us to be in. We've had some really good workouts. Our members have been practicing social distancing and also following everything that we have in place.

"We added the new sanitation stations and our members have really adjusted well to them. Our members have been wiping everything down once their finished and our staff also goes around to wipe everything down hourly as well. We're trying to make sure everything that gets touched in this building, gets wiped down."

Nelson also credits the quarantine downtime as one of the reasons his team is prepared to fulfill the extra precautions passed down by the state.

"We were looking at every aspect of it, just so we could be prepared to successfully navigate whichever protocol we were going to have to follow," Nelson said. "We wanted to make sure we were ready to face any medical issues we would have to departmentalize here in the city, so we did everything that was in compliance with the governor's request and everything we knew from the past on how to take care of the gym. We want to keep the gym sanitized and our members as safe as possible."

Going forward, GymBox plans to carry on business as usual.

"We plan to transition from business as usual to business as now," Nelson said. "Our new normal is taking precautions, following protocols and doing the things we need to do to make sure our gym is sanitized properly. We want our members to have the most successful gym experience possible. We want to grow our members' perspective and also our team's perspective as to what they need to do to make sure our members are successful within our new norm."

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