Gyms adjust to life under tier 3 mitigations


SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (WCIA) — Gyms and fitness centers were spared in the latest round of COVID mitigations from the state.

During the stay at home order in the spring, gyms, like everywhere else, were shut down. Now, under the new rules, they can have up to 25 percent capacity. Gyms also can’t have indoor fitness classes, which is causing places like orange theory fitness to change up its model to a more traditional approach.

“Now we have just changed our format to be a more open concept,” Heather Cox, owner of three different Orange Theory Fitness’s in Central Illinois, said. “With that, the member gets to come in, thermometer check, two safety questions and a squirt of that hand sanitizer before going into our facility.”

Contact tracing data from the governor’s office did not list gyms and fitness centers in the top 10 places for possible exposure or for the places with the most traced exposures. Governor Pritzker’s plan was made up by doctors, and he said the new information they have about the virus really impacted the new plan.

Now we know there is a low level of risk with certain activities if you don’t pack people indoors, and you do some of it outdoors, and you see that reflected in the decisions about the tier three mitigations.

For Cox, she is just happy they are able to stay open this time. She says its not just the usual safety precautions like masks and hand sanitizer keeping them safe. Its the fact that their ventilation systems were designed to continuously bring outside air in, making it safe for COVID.

It’s not that the governor is picking who and can not choose. It is all being done by the data and by the numbers.

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