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Health Protection CHARLIE, Fitness Center; what you need to know

The sun rises behind the Fitness Center

The sun rises behind the Fitness Center at Tyndall Air Force Base, Florida, Aug. 6, 2021. The Fitness Center adjusted operating hours to comply with Health Protection Condition CHARLIE to allow for deep sanitation of the facility and has limited access to manned-hours only. (U.S. Air Force photo by Staff Sgt. Magen M. Reeves)

Johnson sanitizes fitness equipment

Nobuko Johnson, 325th Force Support Squadron Fitness Center program manager, sanitizes fitness equipment at Tyndall Air Force Base, Florida, Aug. 6, 2021. Patrons and staff are required to wear a mask when entering and exiting the gym, transitioning to and from different exercising areas of the facility, including the locker rooms, and are encouraged to wear a mask when actively working out to help mitigate spread of the COVID-19 virus. (U.S. Air Force photo by Staff Sgt. Magen M. Reeves)

A patron gets in a cardio workout

A patron gets in a cardio workout at the 325th Force Support Squadron Fitness Center at Tyndall Air Force Base, Florida, Aug. 6, 2021. Due to a recent increase in COVID-19 cases, access to the Fitness Center has limited occupancy to 50 on-duty mission essential personnel. (U.S. Air Force photo by Staff Sgt. Magen M. Reeves)

TYNDALL AIR FORCE BASE, Fla. --

Concerns caused by an increase in COVID-19 cases on base and in the local area led Tyndall Air Force Base officials to implement Health Protection Condition CHARLIE on Aug. 3, to help mitigate exposure while also continuing Team Tyndall’s mission.

The Tyndall Fitness Center activated a few changes to accommodate the move to CHARLIE while still being able to allow members access to the gym.

The gym has limited hours of operation from Monday through Friday, 5 a.m. to 9:30 a.m. and 10:30 a.m. to 8:30 p.m. The facility is also open on Saturdays and Sundays, 8:30 a.m. to 4 p.m.

Members are authorized to remove their mask when doing activities, according to Phil Stevens, 325th Force Support Squadron fitness center lead recreation assistant.

“You do have to wear your mask when transitioning from downstairs to upstairs or to the locker room,” said Stevens “Limited showers and lockers remain open.”

Social distancing rules remain in place along with sanitation protocols. Facility members provide deliberate cleaning throughout the day, but rely on patrons to do their part.

“Individual patrons are responsible for wiping down their own equipment, however, our staff has increased the amount of time that we clean the equipment,” said Lyons. “We’re closing (early) for a 30-minute time period every night to spray the entire facility with a disinfectant.”

More sanitation stations have been spread throughout the Fitness Center which include equipment wipes and hand sanitizer. Air disinfectant systems have been installed in all rooms, Lyons added.

Additionally, a 50-person maximum limit has been instated inside the Fitness Center and official fitness tests have been placed on hold. The health and safety of all patrons remains the top priority for leadership.

“In order for the Fitness Center to remain open, we ask that all patrons continue to follow current (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention) and local guidelines, and assist with deliberate on-the-spot cleaning and sanitization efforts,” said Lt. Col. Rigoberto Perez, 325th FSS commander. “In doing so, they help minimize risks and the spread of the virus so we can ensure patron access to all indoor and outdoor fitness equipment. Cleaning and sanitation is everyone’s responsibility.”