Valley gym owners hoping second shutdown never comes

With increasing cases of COVID-19, Ohio Gov. Mike DeWine mentioned possibly shutting their doors yet

With increasing cases of COVID-19, Ohio Gov. Mike DeWine mentioned possibly shutting their doors yet again

(WKBN) – Some gym owners say with the rising COVID-19 numbers, they’re anxious, waiting on direction from Ohio Gov. Mike DeWine.

Many across the Valley said they’re disappointed after DeWine mentioned possibly shutting their doors yet again.

“Really sad, I guess,” said Katie Glatzer, with Body Temple Fitness. “Just for the state of what we’re going through and that we have to be at this point.”

“I was shocked,” said Jacob Finn, with Orange Theory Fitness. “It kind of came as a surprise but in this season, there’s a lot of surprise.”

Gyms were forced to close in March and weren’t allowed to reopen until weeks later.

We talked to Glatzer and Finn at the end of April as they were gearing up for reopening.

Since then, they’ve had to scale back their classes under state guidelines but said they’re doing everything they can to stay open.

“All that we can do is control the things that we can control,” Finn said.

“We’re doing everything we can do to make sure we have the safest environment possible and at this point, there’s nothing else we can do,” Glatzer said.

They said the first shutdown didn’t just affect their gyms, but their members as well.

“There wasn’t a lot of laughter, there wasn’t a lot of community, there wasn’t a lot of positivity. Fitness is so much more than someone getting a workout in or getting stronger,” Finn said.

Both said staying active helps physically and mentally, which is why they adapted to virtual classes when they were closed.

If they’re forced to close again, they’ll pick up where they left off.

“It prepared me mentally, but then put our studio in a position to adapt if it ever happened again,” Glatzer said.

They’re hoping it doesn’t come to that again.

Glatzer, though, said she understands the governor’s reasoning — she tested positive for COVID-19 in July. Still, she said it’s a complicated decision.

“I feel like it’s really hard to separate your personal feelings and what you need to do as a business owner. It’s a very emotional topic for a lot of people, but I want to keep my business open.”

DeWine said the state will make a decision by next Thursday. Until then, Finn said he’s hoping to stay open.

“We’re really hoping and praying that we don’t get shut down. If we do, we’re going to roll with the punches but right now, we’re open and we’re still acting every day as if we’re open. We’re acting as if nothing is going to happen.”

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