CORONAVIRUS

Gymnastics Gym Owners Frustrated After Being Told They Can’t Open

May 4, 2020, 6:47 PM | Updated: 10:17 pm

SALT LAKE CITY, Utah – Frustrations are building among gymnastics gyms that thought they got the green light to open, but have been told to shut down by the Salt Lake County Health Department.

“We had been told by the [Salt Lake County] mayors office that we had been categorized as a gym and would then be allowed to be opening,” said Heather Fullmer, the owner of Gymnastics Training Center in Salt Lake.

Fullmer said they practically worked around the clock to get their gym ready with all the strict guidelines so they could open their doors on Monday. That included everything from rearranging their parking, to how students enter their building,  to temperature taking, to taping off sections of the gym for social distancing.

Then they got a call from the health department saying they were classified as a team sport or team facility, and therefore could not open up.

“We are not a team sport,” said Fullmer. “There is an aspect of that that we can participate in but the majority of gymnastics is an individual sport. You can have one athlete go to a meet you can have one athlete individually work out.”

Ryan Kirkham who owns Olympus Gymnastics in South Jordan got the same message from the health department after he thought he got the green light to open up on Friday.

He said the governors office told him he was good to go as long as they followed all the guidelines of a gym.

“[The health department] called and said it was illegal for us to be open, and we had to shut down,” said Kirkham. “We are not a team sport. Gymnast train individually. We are a gym, we are a fitness center.  [The gymnasts] are doing conditioning and skill level drills, and only allowed to do skills they can do by themselves without any human interaction.”

Nicholas Rupp the spokesperson for the County Health Department said that they are following the states guidelines under the orange phase which says “no team or group activities.” But, he said they are working with the governors office to get a more clear directive or interpretation of what those “group activities” are.

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Gymnastics Gym Owners Frustrated After Being Told They Can’t Open