Skip to Content

Some C.O. gyms voluntarily close, while others stay open

Some gyms cap their visitors to 25 people at one time

(Update: Planet Fitness in Bend closing for 2 weeks)

BEND, Ore. (KTVZ) -- Despite California and Washington mandating all fitness gyms to close for now, Oregon has not done so. It’s up to gyms to decide whether or not they want to shut down temporarily or cap their visitors at the state-mandated limit of 25 people.

The Sisters Athletic Club has decided to close for the time being. For the next two weeks, at least, the gym's 2,000 members won’t be able to access the gym. And the gym's 49 employees will be paid through their sick time.

“When I announced we were closing early, we were already busy that day, but then had a major influx of people,” Tate Metcalf, the club’s owner, said Tuesday. “And if gyms and clubs are the only thing open, they are going to get over run with people.”  

Metcalf has begun advising his employees to plan on filing for unemployment if the closure lasts more than a couple of weeks.

Because Metcalf is a business owner, he is ineligible for unemployment and the coronavirus is not covered under loss of business. 

In fact, a report in the Insurance Journal says there are no reported cases in the United States regarding business interruption coverage in connection with human infectious disease epidemics or pandemics.

Bill Haynes, who owns Fusion Fitness in Bend, said he plans to stay open unless a new mandate forces him to close down.

“Unless a mandate comes through, we will not (close),” Haynes said. “I can’t afford to close the doors. This is going to put a huge economic strain on people in Bend. If they have to close all their businesses. I don’t know how they will make it.”

Haynes said his gym has started sanitizing workout machines more often, and with a stronger solution.

Planet Fitness in Bend had started limiting their guest numbers to 25 and asked their guests to limit their workout to 30 minutes.

But word came late Tuesday in a note to members from Planet Fitness CEO Chris Rondeau that the Bend club will close for two weeks, through March 31, "out of an abundance of caution."

Rondeau said customers recently billed for monthly dues would get gret for the closed days, and that the gym's Facebook page will host free, weeknight "Home Work-Ins," streamed live at 7 p.m. -- no equipment needed, all classes 20 minutes or less.

Kevin Wooster, a Fusion Fitness member, said he is confident that his cleaning routine will keep him safe.  

“I spray my hands with a bleach solution, and I spray the machine down,” Wooster said. “I open the door using my sleeve -- basically don’t touch anything.”

Payton Skelly, a Planet Fitness member, said he had no problem putting his trust in the gym.

“I trust the companies to stay clean, and I will do my part. So if we do both, I don’t think there will be any reason to worry,” Skelly said.  

Article Topic Follows: Coronavirus

Jump to comments ↓

Author Profile Photo

Jordan Williams

Jordan Williams is a multimedia journalist for NewsChannel 21. Learn more about Jordan here.


KTVZ NewsChannel 21 is committed to providing a forum for civil and constructive conversation.

Please keep your comments respectful and relevant. You can review our Community Guidelines by clicking here

If you would like to share a story idea, please submit it here.

Skip to content