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Local fitness centers navigate business during pandemic

As Ohioans navigate the world of COVID-19, small business owners face unique challenges moving forward.

As Ohioans navigate the world of COVID-19, small business owners face unique challenges moving forward.

For local fitness centers, those challenges are amplified.

“Everyone’s taken a hit financially,” said Demi Tsapatsaris, co-owner of Cycle 614.

It’s a tough reality the owners of Cycle 614 faced as soon as gyms and fitness centers were shut down in Ohio on March 16.

Now, 17 weeks later, they’re back open but things look different.

“Every small business is opening back up on life support,” Tsapatsaris said. “We are just doing our best to make sure everyone is safe.”

Before entering Cycle 614, riders must sanitize their hands and spray the bottoms of their feet.

Then they get their temperatures checked, while keeping a safe distance in the lobby.

Bikes are spaced out and cleaned between classes and a filtration system was installed to kill bacteria and other allergens.

“I think that the people that do feel safe are coming back,” Tsapatsaris said. “I also think that the word is getting on the street how we are going over the mandates in what precautions we need to take and we’ve really thought it through."

In Dublin, Mesh Fit Club made changes, including limiting members, blocking off machines to space everyone out, and giving people personal cleaning supplies to use while working out, to name a few.

“It was obviously very hard and challenging for everyone. Not just for us but for the members as well,” said Jenna Dray, an owner and group fitness manager at Mesh Fit Club.

The gym, Dray explained, offers members more than physical fitness alone during this time.

“The mental health aspect has been huge for our members,” she said. “Everyone has expressed just how much better they feel having that little normalcy and little boost in their mood physically and emotionally.”

Thinking of going to the gym? The Cleveland Clinic suggests a few safety measures you can take:

  1. Know your gyms rules and safety protocols before going
  2. If you can, wear a face mask to help protect those around you
  3. Bring your own towel and water bottle
  4. Distance yourself while using the equipment and also other times while in the gym
  5. Wipe everything down
  6. If you have any symptoms at all, stay home