Connecticut businesses have been closed down since mid-March in order to prevent the spread of COVID-19. Governor Lamont has announced that phase one of the Connecticut reopening plan can begin, and, for some local businesses, that means they can start serving the public in-person once again.
As many Cheshire businesses begin to reevaluate what reopening may look like in the new COVID-19 world, the Cheshire Fitness Zone (CFZ), which provides an assortment of pediatric therapies for students struggling with a variety of issues and disabilities, is excited to finally be able to allow children and teenagers back into their clinic after three months of providing telehealth services because of the lockdown.
“We have really changed a lot of what we do since March,” said Craig Goldstein, the CFZ’s owner and lead physical therapist. “We’ve eliminated our waiting room completely and have had to reassess how we deal with our clients in order to ensure they are getting the care they need while staying as safe as possible.”
The CFZ has been providing in-person physical, occupational, speech, and aquatic therapies since it opened in 2001, and the services they have been offering can be important to the lives of the children they’re helping, especially during the COVID-19 pandemic. On average, the CFZ services roughly 550 clients a week in Cheshire, and about 350 other clients throughout the surrounding towns.
According to their website, the CFZ was designed specifically for children and adolescents of all ages and disabilities, and is fully equipped with biomechanically engineered fitness equipment to satisfy those needs.
“These kids need these therapies regardless of the fact that there is a global pandemic, and we are here to offer it as best we can,” Goldstein remarked.
In terms of personal protective equipment (PPE), Goldstein insists that the CFZ is fully equipped to deal with all incoming clients effectively and safely.
“We have hand-sanitizing stations and hand-washing stations everywhere. We also have tons of masks and even gowns if we feel that’s necessary,” said Goldstein. “We even have a new protocol as to how many people can come in for the appointments, and clients must call the office before entering. We really want to reduce the flow of traffic as much as we can.”
For Goldstein and the rest of his team at the CFZ, the new adjustment is welcomed as long as it means that they can get back into the office and start working again.
“We have really had to get creative in the past few months in terms of providing telehealth services, but our parents have been so supportive and helpful throughout all of this,” Goldstein continued.
The CFZ and Goldstein have assured their clients that, no matter what, they will be available for them when necessary.
“As long as we can be in the clinic and be in the clinic safely, we will be,” mentioned Goldstein. “We are here for the clients first and foremost.”