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Several gyms in our area open despite governor’s orders

Fitness centers are not allowed to open until their county is in the green phase, and the governor has given stern warnings about what could happen if a business owner defies that order.

There was no clear answer to our questions about what happens next to the two gyms in our area that opened on Thursday.

“We have painted every square inch. We have cleaned everything. We moved every piece of equipment six foot apart or more,” said Linda Webb, owner of Webb's World of Fitness in Penn Hills. “We spaced our cardio equipment six feet apart. We bought cases and cases of disinfectant exactly for COVID-19, on top of all the other germs, and have that throughout our facility.”

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Webb has owned her business for nearly 32 years. She made the decision to reopen despite stern warnings from the governor and the state health department. She told Channel 11 it was necessary to open now or risk closing for good.

“I don’t want to go and do anything wrong," she said. "On the other hand, we own our business. We don’t want to close our doors permanently as a small business owner. We are in the same boat. We can't keep this going for months and months and think we are still going to be here. We won’t.”

In Pleasant Hills, Life Force Fitness also opened on Thursday. The owner said he is open because exercise is so important to personal health. He noted that police officers are among his first clients back.

We reached out to local leaders and the state health department for a response to the early reopenings.

Locally, we were told a complaint would have to be filed with the Allegheny County Health Department or Pleasant Hills Police Department.

The Pennsylvania Department of Health sent us the following statement:

“Gyms are businesses that are not licensed in Pennsylvania. In the event of a gym not complying with the Secretary and Governor’s orders, a letter will be sent regarding non-compliance. If it is discovered that there are significant public health concerns, the Departments of Health can impose a fine on the business.”

Local leaders tell Channel 11 they aren’t aware of any complaints.