SACRAMENTO, Calif. (KTXL) — These days, dumbbells aren’t the only thing weighing heavy on Randy Karr.
“It’s been difficult,” he said.
As the president and CEO of California Family Fitness, he had to close down 19 gyms because of the COVID-19 pandemic.
“We look at ‘family’ in our name as more than just the members that we serve but also our employees,” Karr said. “I’ve got roughly 1,100 employees on the sidelines waiting to return.”
As the months go by and more businesses get cleared to reopen, he’s hoping gyms will soon get the go-ahead.
With no guidance yet from the state, Karr decided to start the California Fitness Alliance to bring together gyms and fitness clubs from across the state to advocate for their interests.
“To come together and have a common voice on what’s the best way to reopen fitness, both safely and responsibly,” he said.
The group is in touch with public health officials to figure out how to keep customers safe.
“Putting certain pieces of equipment unusable to create social space, adding additional hand sanitizers, sanitizing wipe stations throughout the facility,” Karr said.
They’re also considering mandatory masks and limiting the number of people inside the gym, as well as frequent sanitizing by employees.
They want to work alongside the state to develop best practices.
Karr said he is eager to get back to work, not only for his employees but for the whole community.
“We want to provide a place to be active to be healthy and do it safely as soon as we can,” he said.
The California Fitness Alliance is also calling for federal or state aid to help the fitness industry recover from these months of being closed.