EL CENTRO — Imperial County’s progress into the Red Tier of the California Blueprint for a Safer Economy gave a local gymnasium owner relief to open for business.
The official statement from Imperial County Public Health listed services and activities together with their respective percent capacities — the number of individuals — allowed inside under the Red Tier. The change went into effect March 10.
Included in the list were gymnasiums. According to the official statement, “Gyms and fitness centers indoors (maximum 10 percent capacity)”.
“We are coming back with a positive mindset,” said Claudia Rodriguez, owner of All 7 Fitness gym on Fourth Street in El Centro. “We are happy to come back to the gym after a year,” Rodriguez said with the assistance of her office manager, Dalilah Trujillo, who translated between English and Spanish.
According to Rodriguez, she opened the gym March 15.
During the interview with The Desert Review, only two clients were present at the All 7 Fitness gym. Both used the treadmills.
Those inside the gym had masks on. There were several sanitizer stations. Precaution signs, reminding clients to wear masks were posted on walls. The Zumba room was empty. There were no clients using the weightlifting section.
Posted on the glass wall of the gym for motorists and clients to see was a poster. It had two words —NOW OPEN — in capital letters.
“It feels great to be back,” said Rebecca Davis, an El Centro resident who was used to working out. When the gym closed last year, Davis didn’t stop her physical conditioning. Instead, she continued exercising in her living room. The routine was important for her heart, body, and mind.
“I’m just glad that they were now open to clients,” said Davis.
According to Rodriguez, she lost about 90 percent of her business when the gym was closed due to the pandemic lockdown. Even when there were no clients, bills still kept coming.
During the closure, Rodriguez kept her gym sanitized, clean, and ready for clients should the County allow for the opening of businesses.
All 7 Fitness offers physical exercises in cardio, strength conditioning, and Zumba classes.
Prior to the pandemic, the gym was open 24 hours, seven days a week. But now, Rodriguez modified the business hours and the number of days open. Under the new schedule the gym is open Monday through Saturday from 8 a.m. to 9 p.m.
“It is important to exercise and be healthy and active during this pandemic,” said Rodriguez.