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Riverside County gyms and fitness centers cleared to reopen at reduced capacity under red tier

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Members are working out once again at Power of Fitness in Palm Desert.  

Those who spoke with News Channel 3 said at least now they can resume their fitness routines interrupted by the Covid-19 pandemic.

"I think it's great.  People need to get out and exercise and keep a healthy lifestyle you know," said club member Leo Valenzuela.

The news also took the weight off the shoulders of health club operators, including Ken Ebner.

Ebner says for most of the past 6 months his 2,900 members were not being charged their monthly dues, while most of his expenses continued.

He is now left with what he calls "heavy debt".

"We've been able to squeak by as they say.  The reopening helps us out a lot so now we can start to get back to business," said Ebner. 

The sign on the wall of the main workout area showed "maximum occupancy" for the space is one 179.   

Ebner says he and his staff are ready to enforce the ten percent limit for th number of people working out.

They also have some cardio machines taped off to help members maintain proper social distancing. 

Ebner says the steps they're taking to protect members and staff include adding additional hand sanitizer dispensers, doubling their cleaning schedule and requiring members to carry towels to be used for wiping down machines. 

Gyms and health clubs in the county were allowed to reopen for about four weeks in June, but were ordered to close indoor activities again when the number of confirmed cases of coronavirus in the county spiked.

Ebner hopes it doesn't happen again.

"It has been very tough for the past six months.   I hope this is the final phase of the shutdown.  We'll have to see," said Ebner. 

The health clubs hours are also reduced.

Weekday hours are 5:00 am to 9:00 pm.

Weekends it's 7:00 am to 4:00 pm. 

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Tom Tucker

Tom Tucker is a veteran broadcast journalist with nearly 20 years of experience. Learn more about Tom here.

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