The expanded pandemic-related health orders include no group indoor activities such as spin classes and hot yoga until at least Dec. 7.
Samantha Gibson, who owns K-Spin downtown on Seymour Street, said she will comply with Provincial Health Officer Dr. Bonnie Henry’s order, but would prefer to keep her doors open with enhanced COVID-19 measures in place.
“I do think it’s extremely unfortunate,” she said. “I also teach at Barre Kamloops and I know that both the studios have extremely high standards in their cleaning and screening of clients. We’ve been open for the past six months with no transmission. Yes, it is a risk, but I feel like there’s something to be said for the safety protocols we have in place.”
Gibson, who opened her studio three years ago, shuttered K-Spin for more than three months earlier this year during the spring COVID-19 wave. Since re-opening, the studio has been running at 50 per cent capacity — 10 riders at a time.
“It already has hurt our business,” she said. “We’ve been running the last six months at half capacity. Being a small business owner is tough enough in these times, but running at half capacity — we’re thankful to have strong support from our clients.”
When the pandemic first closed K-Spin’s doors in March, Gibson rented 10 of her 20 bikes to clients, keeping a sliver of revenue coming in each month. She said she’ll do the same again.
“It’s better than nothing,” she said. “But, again, I do feel like it’s a risk you should be able to take, like going to the gym or going to the grocery store.”
Oxygen Yoga and Fitness Kamloops owner Dina McLeod told KTW through tears after the announcement that she was “devastated” by news of the order prohibiting for two weeks hot yoga.
“It is a gut punch like I didn’t expect,” she said.
McLeod said the studio has closed effective immediately. A teacher and clients showed up for a 4:30 p.m. class on Thursday and McLeod broke the news. She worries about her clients physical and mental well-being.
“We have people on chemotherapy who come in for infrared therapy because we’re an infrared heated studio,” she said. “We’ve got people who struggled with their mental health during the closure. That’s why I taught a bunch of classes live for free just to stay connected. I don’t know how some of these people will do.”
McLeod also worries about her finances. She said the studio was already operating at half capacity, despite overhead remaining the same. It also closed for 77 days in the spring, due to health orders, from mid-March and reopening on June 1.
Her 15 staff mostly work at the studio on the side of full-time jobs.
McLeod, however, said she has already put everything into surviving the first closure, including leaning on credit cards. Adding to the stress is uncertainty. She doesn’t know when she’ll be allowed to reopen.
“I don’t know how we survive it,” she said. “I don’t know if they reopen us in two weeks. She [Dr. Bonnie Henry] wasn’t very clear.”