COVID-19 Safety Measures

Clay is currently offering in-person personal training appointments and reduced-size group fitness classes at the studio on Berkmar Drive.  To keep clients and staff as safe as possible, please review our procedures for all in-person services during this phase of the pandemic.  (Updated 05/24/2024.)

Our responsibilities:

  • Your trainer will wear a mask while training you.
  • Your trainer will maintain at least 6 feet of distance between him/herself and you for the duration of your time together, other than brief closer approaches as necessary for getting you set up or demonstrating something.
  • Your session/class will be held in an indoor space with as much natural ventilation as possible – ample doors will be open and commercial overhead fan running. (Dress appropriately for the weather, as if you were going for a run outside.)
  • If your trainer develops any suspicious symptoms (fever or chills, cough, shortness of breath or difficulty breathing, fatigue, muscle or body aches, new loss of taste or smell, sore throat, congestion or runny nose, nausea, vomiting, or diarrhea), they will alert you immediately so you can decide if you are comfortable keeping the appointment, would like to arrange to train with another Clay trainer, or would prefer to cancel. If you would like to cancel, there will be no cancellation fee.  Your trainer will get a COVID test as soon as possible, and you will have the continued option to cancel until they have a negative test result.
  • If your trainer learns they have been exposed to a known case, they will notify you and refrain from training you until they can be sure they haven’t been infected.  (Let them know if you would like to train with another trainer in the meantime, and we will try to accommodate that request.)

Your responsibilities:

  • You will wear a mask while you are training if you are in a class with more than 4 people, or if more than 4 personal training client are training in the studio at a time.
    • If all clients training are members of one household, masking is optional. 
    • If you are the only client (or household) training, your masking is optional.
  • If you are aware of having come into contact with any verified positive case, you will notify your trainer immediately and cancel your training session until you can get a negative test result. You will not be charged a late cancellation fee for this.
  • If you develop any suspicious symptoms (fever or chills, cough, shortness of breath or difficulty breathing, fatigue, muscle or body aches, new loss of taste or smell, sore throat, congestion or runny nose, nausea, vomiting, or diarrhea) you will notify your trainer immediately and cancel your appointment until you can verify that you are not infected. You will not be charged a late cancellation fee.
  • If you are non-symptomatic, but feel any unusual sensations DURING your training session (tightness in your chest, significant/unusual levels of trouble breathing or unusually high heart rate, etc.) you MUST notify your trainer and stop exercising immediately. (Healthy, fit, asymptomatic young people with no preexisting conditions have dropped dead during exercise due to heart attacks because they were infected and didn’t know it. There are some SERIOUS implications of exercising when infected, so we are taking this extremely seriously for your safety.)

If you or a trainer test positive for COVID, the following must occur before in-person training resumes:

  • 10 day quarantine
  • Negative PCR test (not a quick test)
  • No symptoms present
  • If we or you feel it is necessary to cancel your appointment for any of the above reasons inside the 24-hour cancellation window, you will still be granted a full credit for missed classes, and/or your account will not be charged for a canceled personal training session.

If you have thoughts on other policies or procedures that would make you feel more comfortable, or hear of a best practice that you’d like us to consider, please reach out. We are constantly evaluating and adapting. We want to be able to keep providing this service to you, and for it to work we all need to be responsible, responsive, honest, open and communicative. There is a large amount of trust involved in this, not the least of which is being able to trust each other to communicate our needs, wishes and comfort level.

Our main lines of defense are:

  1. Ventilation (lots of doors that open wide, 22′ high ceilings and a 10′ industrial ceiling fan)
  2. Vaccination (all in-person​, indoor clients must be fully vaccinated)
  3. Separation (10′ of space between all clients working out at the same time who aren’t housemates)
  4. Masking (required inside the studio when more than 4 peoples are training).  Step outside to de-mask for a sip of water or a mask break.)
  5. Purification (iWave air purification system on the HVAC, and an Alen BreatheSmart true HEPA purifier)
  6. Disinfection (doesn’t really help against COVID, but it keeps us safe from other bugs, and it’s just yucky not to wipe things down after using them in a gym anyway)

Hello, Clay friends!

Even though there’s not a ton of talk about COVID anymore, I know you know I keep up on how the pandemic is progressing.  I continue to seek out good, scientific sources of information, and make decisions as best I can for all of our health and safety based on those.

We are currently in the lowest levels of COVID since the start of the pandemic (this winter was actually the biggest spike since the start, so this is a fairly new development).  HOORAY!!!   That being said, it is still around, and a new family of variants (known as FliRT variants) are becoming dominant, and are being watched closely.  They are in the Omicron (fast-spreading) family.  With summer travel, we could see another summer spike, as has been the pattern.

Due to the low community levels, I have decided to relax our masking policy somewhat. I am still going to require masking whenever 5 or more people are training concurrently (either in PT or classes) at the gym.  But (unless/until we have another big spike, or a new variant that is more contagious/dangerous) I am no longer requiring masking of clients when there are 4 or fewer people training at a time.  Masks are now optional in that case.  Trainers will continue to mask.

Dishearteningly, wastewater COVID monitoring has been discontinued, and hospitals are no longer being required to report COVID cases.  This is going to make it VERY hard to have any idea if/when levels spike again.  I really hate to see public health policy be so dictated by politics rather than science, but here we are.  I’ll do my best to still get the best information I can, and if it seems we are getting back into a dangerous situation, I reserve the right to re-evaluate the relaxed masking policy.  I know you all will understand.

I implore everyone to stay up to date on your boosters.  They aren’t perfect, but they are highly effective at preventing severe disease and deaths. Almost all hospitalizations and deaths are among the un- or under-vaccinated population.  And the more boosters you have had, the less likely you are to contract long COVID (my main concern).  The more times you get COVID, the more likely you are to develop long COVID, so just because you have dodged that bullet so far, doesn’t mean you will continue to do so.  About 5% of the population suffers from long COVID, and many of those people may be disabled for life.  PLEASE take the relatively easy steps to avoid this fate. 

I continue to keep an eye on where the vaccines are heading.  There are some pretty cool advances being worked on, including a vaccine that uses a different technology which will make it variant-proof (not dependent on being for the correct variant), which just got through a Phase 1 human trial that was successful, as well as the much anticipated nasal vaccines, which, if/when available, will actually prevent infection, and therefore prevent long COVID.  It sounds likely that you would only need to get those once/year to be protected, but it’s not available yet.  Promising Phase 3 large-scale trials are being done in Europe with the WHO, and the US versions are less far along (maybe Phase 2?), but progressing.  Some folks I respect highly (including Dr. Eric Topol of the Scripps Institute) are optimistic that we could see nasal vaccine availability within the next year.  When this happens, I will be throwing away all my masks, and fully removing any masking requirements.  Keep fingers crossed!!

I want to thank everyone again for being so supportive and patient and understanding about this.  I know I am, at this point, far from the mainstream on my COVID policies and precautions, and I appreciate that you have all stuck with me through this.  Clay people are the best people.

Ok, that’s it.  Let me know if you have questions.




3000 Berkmar Drive Charlottesville, VA 22901
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