Fitness centers welcome back members
As the Santa Barbara County Public Health Department eases restrictions on business closures amid the coronavirus pandemic, local gyms are opening their doors back up to welcome their members and encourage healthy living.
The state of California released guidelines and instructions for fitness centers to open no sooner than June 12.
These guidelines provided vital information regarding employee training, control measures, screening, cleaning and disinfecting protocols, physical distancing and considerations for communal restrooms, showers, pools and food service.
Even with all these additional measures, fitness centers in Santa Barbara stepped up to the challenge.
Aly Davis is the manager of Mad Fitness SB at 1236 Chapala St., which opened June 12. She said the staff and members are taking it day by day.
“We’re following all the new guidelines in order to make our gym the safest environment we possibly can,” she said. “We’re super happy to have been able to reopen. Our community is super important to us.”
Key 2 Fitness at 324 State St. also opened up as soon as it could.
Owner Brian Sawicki said the gym hasn’t seen much change from how they were before the lockdown. As a smaller gym about 5,000 square feet with about 500 members, he said social spacing was the norm already, and the business had always taken its disinfectant cleaning seriously.
“Being a smaller gym with a smaller number, we have a little more sense of community,” Mr. Sawicki said. “Our members supported us financially so we could still be here, which did allow us to keep our employees on payroll and keep them active with projects for the gym. People seem to be handling things pretty responsibly and being safe.”
Along with the others, Killer B Fitness Center is on its seventh day of being open, and owner Bob Wilcher said even though it’s all new and the gym has to adapt, the response from his clients has been “overwhelmingly positive.”
“Everybody has their own comfort level and their own idea about being safe and secure. There’s no judgment,” he said. “I want them to feel safe, but I can’t make them feel safe.
“But I can do the best I can,” Mr. Wilcher said.
He added that gyms reopening is crucial to boost the immune systems of people striving to remain healthy.
“I got in this business because I love fitness, and I think it’s one of the most important things we can do for our health, especially right now,” Mr. Wilcher said.
“We’re happy to be open again.”