COLUMBUS, Ohio — COVID-19 has impacted business for a lot of local shops around central Ohio, including fitness studios.
"Like any small business, it has been hard financially," said Meredith Mundell, the director of marketing and instructor development at Melt House of Fitness. "We are very thankful for our loyal membership that really has been sticking with us."
The Westerville studio was able to add the use of a 2,500 square-foot garage just across the parking lot.
The addition allows them to fit more people in their classes, at a safe distance.
"We are all obviously really enthusiastic about our studio here so to have this space and be able to still be together, we feel like every workout is a party," Mundell said. "So to be able to have that party together and be whoopin' and sweatin' and feeling good about life together, it's great and I think for many of us right now, it's the highlight of our day."
To keep classes safe, Mundell explained they take additional precautions.
"Lots and lots of rigorous cleaning between classes. We're spacing our classes out more to allow for that cleaning. Obviously, requiring masks moving around the studio and all of that," she said. "so, we are thankful for our members but it has been definitely a strain."
Classes at Melt are held all day long, with the biggest studio room fitting just 18 people.
That is down from 45 people before the pandemic.
The garage, which will allow the studio to spread out their cycle and lifting classes to make more room for yoga and bar in the main studio, is going to help ease that strain, Mundell said.
"We have found that most of our members feel comfortable and want to be back in studio, so we're really just right now, focused on keeping all of our community as healthy as possible," she said.
When it comes to space, fitness venues across the state are now required to limit capacity to allow for six feet of space in social distance at all times, as part of the Responsible RestartOhio order.
To read specific mandates in the order, click here.