Local businesses feel impact of state gym closures


By Martin Graham - mgraham@recordherald.com



As COVID-19 continues to spread across the state, Ohio Governor Mike DeWine decided on Monday to close gyms, recreation centers and movie theaters on top of the number of closures already. Locally, the Record-Herald reached out to gyms and recreation centers to see what they are planning to do about the recent decisions.

“We have 3,800 members and the more people that can abide by what is called, ‘social or physical distancing,’ this will help everyone get through this,” Fayette County Family YMCA CEO Doug Saunders said. “I know some people don’t totally understand the risk to others. They may not feel that risk themselves but they are putting others at risk as well by not abiding by these changes. The quicker people can abide though, the quicker we can get through it and be stronger on the other side hopefully and learn from it.”

Saunders additionally said they are looking at employment issues at the YMCA. Since the fitness center is closing, he explained they have already had to lay off staff, but added should the state choose to close child care as well, the YMCA Kids World of Learning at Sugar Creek Packing will also be closed.

“We will have to do that as well if they decide to close daycares and go down to just a couple essential staff members that we have here,” Saunders said. “We have about 75 employees all together, and about 72 of those may be laid off eventually. We are looking into the possibility if they do decide to close child care centers to allow us to do what are called ‘Critical Care Centers.’ These are centers some places are opening for the daycare needs for kids of health care employees, which will allow those people to continue to care for the community. Should they permit that and if there is that need — we are working with health care providers to see if that is a need — we will work to open it.”

Saunders said they are encouraging those who have been laid off to seek unemployment, and added some are already seeking the assistance during this time.

On a Facebook post Monday evening, Court House Fitness announced that it will close until they are permitted to re-open and all billing will be suspended immediately.

“This includes payroll deductions, checking accounts, and savings,” the Facebook post said. “All paid in full members will be compensated with equal time when business resumes. If you have a unique situation, please leave a message at 740-636-1070 and someone will be in touch as soon as possible. Please, rest assured, we will handle each of you as the valued member that you are, and no one will be charged for services we cannot provide at this time. On a personal note, there are many people affected by this. Please know that we are praying for you and we ask that you do the same for us.”

The Record-Herald attempted to contact 9Round Fitness and Anytime Fitness for a comment, but calls were not returned.

Reach Martin Graham at (740) 313-0351 or on Twitter @MartiTheNewsGuy.

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By Martin Graham

mgraham@recordherald.com