▶️ ‘Step in the right direction:’ Gyms scramble to reopen under new guidelines



Gyms in Oregon are scrambling to partially reopen after Gov. Kate Brown announced workout facilities can have a few people in them at a time starting Friday.

Orangetheory Fitness in Bend is taking Brown’s new mandates and running with them. They’ll offer workout classes again starting Monday.

“This new mandate, it’s not ideal, but it’s such a great step in the right direction,” Jacqueline McGrew, studio manager for Orangetheory, said.

Brown’s easing of restrictions is helpful for Central Oregon gyms that were forced to close for several months.

Orangetheory Bend used to have over 1,500 active members. It now has around 250, McGrew said.

“We’ve definitely taken a hit, but it’s pushed us to be creative with this,” McGrew said. The fitness studio has offered online classes and organized running groups throughout the pandemic.

Across town, Barre3 Bend is preparing to open too. They’ll offer in-person fitness classes starting Friday.

Owner Alisha Wiater said the studio will offer as many classes as possible to meet demand and abide by that six-person limit.

“Any client that we can get back in is worth it,” Wiater said. “I wasn’t shocked by the number six, so we just went with it and we’re trying to make the best of our situation.”

Barre3 Bend — like many other gyms — had to adapt in the past year by offering live-stream fitness classes alongside in-person classes. But Waiter is excited to get clients back in the studio too.

“Really, we’ve been going week by week since June,” Wiater said. “We always joke, ‘don’t get too used to anything because something is going to change.’ That’s helped us adjust and not get too comfortable.”

The next possible date gyms could fully reopen is Feb. 11 if Brown moves Deschutes County out of the “Extreme Risk” COVID-19 category.


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