Gyms, fitness studios limited to outside in ‘extreme risk’ counties

On Tuesday, Gov. Kate Brown added four Oregon counties to a list of counties under the “extreme risk” category. The 25 counties have the highest rates of COVID-19 infections in Oregon. 

Multnomah, Clackamas, Washington, and Marion counties are all under the extreme risk category.  On Thursday, businesses must operate under the new restrictions. 

Restaurants, bars, gyms and fitness studios are limited to operating outside with a maximum of 50 people. 

Gym owners tell KATU News they won’t be able to operate outside during the fall, when weather is unpredictable. 

“In the winter no one wants to be out in the cold and in the rain,” said Tana Ross, the owner of Bleeding Hearts Kettlebell Club. 

During phase 1, gyms and fitness studios could operate under new safety protocols. Ross said her trainers hosted online classes up until about six weeks ago when she said they started doing in-person workouts. 

“We were doing a ton of things to try and keep people safe. We were only letting eight people in at a time,” Ross said. 

The owner of Hollywood Fitness said he did not expect to be shut down again. Gyms were forced to close completely during a statewide two-week freeze that ends Tuesday. 

George Comalli, the owner of Hollywood Fitness, said their gym has no options to accommodate outdoor fitness. 

“Salons are open, massage parlors are open. Everything is open. Literally, the only thing that isn’t open and completely shut down is a health club,” Comalli said. 

The Oregon Health Authority said it will assess each county’s COVID-19 data on a weekly basis. The state will update the county risk levels every two weeks. The “high risk” category allows for limited indoor operations for gyms and fitness studios.

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