By HANNAH SIEVERT
CENTRAL OREGON DAILY NEWS
On Friday, gyms, restaurants and event venues were required to adjust their capacity from 50% to 25% as Deschutes County moved into the high risk COVID-19 category.
For Barre3 Bend, an exercise studio, moving into the new category means limiting all indoor classes to only six people at a time.
“We were at ten, which doesn’t sound like a significant difference, but it really is,” Alisha Wiater, owner of Barre3 Bend, said.
Case counts locally are rising and Deschutes County’s category could get worse before it gets better.
But Waiter said vaccinations are offering some hope on the horizon.
“We hear from new clients, returning clients, every day that they’re ready to come back in and they’re happy to be back,” Wiater said.
Wiater said being flexible is just one aspect of being a business owner this year.
“I just have to keep my eyes and my vision and my focus moving forward and adapting and making it work for our community the best we can, even when we have these setbacks,” Wiater said.
Sharman Watt, owner of the Central Oregon Gymnastics Academy, said she doesn’t have to adjust much at her gym with the category change.
The academy has been operating at around 25% capacity anyway, even through moderate risk.
“Even at a low, even if we were at that low category, we can only operate at 50% and me along with probably everyone else breaks even at 75%,” Watt said. “We can’t even run at a capacity at any scenario that even breaks us even.”
While some people are getting vaccinated and may feel like they can put COVID behind them, Watt said business owners are still feeling the pain of this pandemic.
“I think a lot of people are out there and they just think that we’re all better, the vaccine is there and everything’s all better,” Watt said. “My business and any business like mine — it’s not better.”