California Gym Uses Personal Pods for Classes After Coronavirus

Beatrice J. Doty

topshot us health virus gym reopening

FREDERIC J. BROWNGetty Images

Some gyms around the country have reopened from extended closure due to the coronavirus pandemic and little has changed beyond a new dedication to cleanliness and policies to reduce crowd capacity. For others, totally new procedures are in place—or will be, as not all states have passed the public health requirements for reopening just yet—like temperature checks at the door, compulsory mask policies, and strict social distancing practices. Then, there’s Inspire South Bay Fitness in Redondo Beach, California.

The fitness club made headlines with local station KTLA5 after debuting its solution for community training in the age of COVID-19: individual training pods—which gym owner Peet Sapsin dubbed “Gainz Pods” on Instagram—for clients to use to participate in group workout classes while remaining isolated.

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California is reopening, but anxious customers are slow to come back

Beatrice J. Doty
A deserted restaurant in the Napa County city of Yountville. Some restaurants have begun welcoming back dine-in customers. <span class="copyright">(Rich Pedroncelli / Associated Press)</span>
A deserted restaurant in the Napa County city of Yountville. Some restaurants have begun welcoming back dine-in customers. (Rich Pedroncelli / Associated Press)

From restaurants to shopping malls, the California economy is grinding back to life after months of coronavirus closures.

But one question looms over the reopening cheers: Do consumers feel safe enough to come back?

California should know the answer soon enough.

After Gov. Gavin Newsom eased the criteria for reopening retail businesses and restaurants, many smaller counties are already turning on the “open” signs while larger counties like Orange and San Diego hope to join them in the coming days. So far, most of California’s 58 counties have applied to move further into the second phase of Newsom’s reopening plan, which allows retail shopping and restaurants to serve in-person patrons.

Yet the experiences of counties that reopened in recent weeks has been sobering. Even as customers are

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