Riverside County gives the green light to open more businesses as part of their accelerated Stage 2 COVID-19 reopening plan.
That includes hotels, gyms and movie theaters. World Gym in Palm Desert has been working for weeks to prepare for Friday’s big day.
“We are thrilled, it’s been almost three months,” says Wanda Mantraga, managing partner at World Gym adding those three months have been tough, they froze all membership dues and have been without income.
“Obviously been very tough for not only the business but the employees,” says Mantranga.
Staff showed excitement during this last meeting before they open.
“It’s just good for people to actually be able to be together again even though we have to stay six feet apart,” says personal trainer Chris Berger.
They’ve been working overtime to welcome members, like deep cleaning, separating equipment to meet social distancing guidelines and placing sanitizing stations throughout. Only a few cardio machines, like treadmills, will be open at one time.
Berger says they’re going above CDC recommendations.
They also have new rules.
“You must enter and exit with the mask and you must wear a mask in between equipment, we ask every person when they get off a piece of equipment they will have to wipe it down, we have a special solution that we have brought in … it kills that virus,” says Mantranga, and clarifies that masks while using the equipment will be optional.
Staff says working out is good for your mind body and soul.
“It’s like medicine for the body,” says Berger.
People we spoke with say they’re not ready for this accelerated reopening.
“Not personally just because, you know, I’ve got an at risk, elderly mother at home,” says Thomas McMullin, from Sky Valley, adding that he understands that for many opening up is a necessity, but hopes people will stay vigilant and be considerate of others.
Mother of two Holly Palmer says she’s not ready, “Not yet, we’re going to give it a little bit more time.”
This made her laugh and say maybe she’ll reconsider.
Riverside County said in a press release the following businesses will be eligible to open Friday:
• Hotels, motels, inns (for tourism and travel)
• Schools, day camps, day care facilities
• Campgrounds and outdoor recreation
• Filming for television and music industries
• Restaurants, bars and wineries
• Theme parks (no rides), zoos and museums
• Professional sports (no audience)
• Movie theaters and family entertainment centers
• Gyms and fitness centers
Among the business that are not allowed at this stage include some personal care businesses,
including nail salons, threading and waxing, as well as youth sports, team sports, weddings and
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