SYRACUSE, N.Y. (NCC News)- Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s March gym shutdown order didn’t come as a surprise to Powerhouse Gym Syracuse owner Helen Green.
Green noticed that less members came in because of COVID-19 concerns.
At the time, Green thought the gym would only be closed for two weeks, which didn’t seem bad to her.
“We would get optimistic that maybe something would happen,” Green said. “We kept waiting and it kept going on and on and on, so we realized we weren’t opening back up.”
The gym owner said March to August was hard because she didn’t charge her members for the months the gym wasn’t open, which meant no income.
“I was able to help my trainers, who are independent contractors, file for unemployment,” Green said. “For us, there wasn’t anything.”
At one point, Green was told gyms weren’t going to re-open until January 2021 or until a coronavirus vaccine was available.
Powerhouse Gym Syracuse re-opened in August, but Green said business has been difficult.
“People are scared,” Green said. “They’ve been told that gyms are not the place to be during COVID.”
Even though gym memberships have gone down, Green said she’s following health and safety protocols.
Members check their temperature at the door and grab a bottle of sanitizer and a rag before they start their workout.
Gym members are responsible for sanitizing their equipment before and after use.
Green said she has had 7,000 check-ins since re-opening and hasn’t reported a COVID-19 case.
“Our standards are way up above restaurants and bars,” Green said.
Along with the physical benefits, Green believes the gym is great for her members’ mental health.
She said she hopes the gym can stay open to continue to serve them during and after the pandemic.