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San Francisco Gyms Reopen For Indoor Workouts For First Time Since COVID-19 Pandemic Started

SAN FRANCISCO (KPIX 5) -- On Monday, COVID-19 reopenings were expanded for a number of San Francisco businesses with gyms, hair salons and other personal services now being allowed to have a limited number of customers indoors.

In addition to gyms and personal services, the city will permit hotels, outdoor family entertainment centers, drive-in entertainment like outdoor movies, and outdoor tour buses and boats to operate, as long as the city's guidelines for outdoor activities during the pandemic are followed.

It's a day many San Franciscans have been awaiting for months.

It was good news for residents who have put on the COVID-19. After six months of exercising at home, Melinda Dahl was ready to be back at the gym.

"Once you're in a safe clean environment like this one, you'll feel inspired and want to keep coming rather than just working out at home," said Dahl.

In accordance with the latest round of reopenings announced by San Francisco officials last Thursday, gyms and fitness centers like Eden Fitness Studio can open at 10 percent capacity. They have to follow strict health guidelines and sanitation standards as well.

"One of the things that we do after each client, we clean all the equipment. And then we do a deep cleaning at night," said Eden owner Tammy Foxx.

The new practices are in gyms small and large, but the specifics weren't issued by the city until Monday morning, making changes difficult to anticipate. 24 Hour Fitness covered it's bases and totally revamped their workflow to accommodate COVID requirements.

"We have sort of a baseline of procedures around cleaning routines, usage of PPE, those types of things. But then we're also taking county and state guidelines on a case by case basis," said 24 Hour Fitness Regional Vice President Meredith Klausner.

But not all gyms are jumping at the opportunity to open their doors. Some, like Equinox, are waiting until they can open at 25 percent capacity. It's all about what businesses can make work financially after months of not working -or working out- at all.

"My hope is that I can get my business viable again. I'm having to revamp my business, change my business model and I'm hoping that'll work," said Foxx.

So far, there is no set date on increasing capacity at gyms. The city reopening website says each sector "will be carefully assessed based on the City's health indicators and the best available science. We will provide an update in mid-October on the progression of these sectors."

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