PORTLAND, OR (KPTV) - As 2021 approaches, the fitness community is urging Governor Kate Brown to reopen gyms.
It's the time of year when people look to get fit for their New Year's resolution.
Except this time, you can't step foot in a gym in most Oregon counties.
"Right now is usually the time of year that we're ramping up for the busiest season ever," Planet Fitness Portland General Manager, Marcus Taylor said. "You know and right now I'm sitting in an empty gym. You know, there's so many fitness dreams that people are not going to be able to achieve."
Taylor says keeping gyms closed during the pandemic is hurting the health of many, both physically and mentally, when he says there's little data to support that COVID-19 is spreading in fitness centers.
"We installed MERV 13 air filtration systems which help filter out coronavirus. We have hand sanitizer everywhere, like literally every 50 feet there's hand sanitizer. On top of that we sanitize every machine before and after we use it," Taylor said. "So we've taken every step possible and I think that the data shows that."
Taylor says staff also run a timer and every 20 minutes they walk the gym to check that everyone is wearing face masks.
Right now many counties in Oregon are in the 'extreme' risk category under Gov. Brown's guidelines.
That means indoor recreation is prohibited in those counties.
But Planet Fitness is pushing to change that, urging Oregonians to sign an online letter asking the governor to reopen gyms. To view the online letter, click here.
"This is people's mental health sometimes it's their outlet, it's their stress relief," Taylor said. "This is a tremendous hit to the whole industry by keeping us closed right here in January when we typically make most of our money and we typically get most people in the gym working out."
Many gyms including Planet Fitness are posting training videos online to help people work out at home right now.