Bakersfield · Business

One gym chain is reopening ahead of schedule in Kern Co. Here’s why.

Planet Fitness locations in Kern County have been deemed essential businesses, meaning they can reopen indoor operations. 

Since Kern County is in the purple tier – the state’s most restrictive COVID-19 tier – gyms are only allowed to offer outdoor services. 

Once a county moves into the red tier, gyms are allowed to open indoor operations at 10% capacity. 

Planet Fitness does not have to wait for Kern County to progress, however, since the public health department gave the gym an essential business classification for joining the Medical Fitness Association. 

The Medical Fitness Association is a nonprofit that assists health and fitness centers. 

In the eyes of the county Planet Fitness now provides health care and public health services, as opposed to what a normal gym offers, because of the new partnership with the Medical Fitness Association. 

“Our approach is we take anybody that comes in the door, whether you’re an absolute elite athlete or a grandma,” said association President Bob Boone, to Bakersfield.com. “Our goal is to optimize your well-being no matter what state you might be in.”

According to Boone, Planet Fitness will reopen under guidelines formed by the association that stresses physical distancing. 

“At Planet Fitness, we know one of the best ways to stay healthy is to stay active and access to an affordable, high-quality fitness experience is important to the Bakersfield community,” Planet Fitness spokeswoman Becky Zirlen told Bakersfield.com. 

“In reopening our locations, we have taken a number of steps to protect the health and well-being of our staff and members, which include enhanced cleanliness and sanitization policies and procedures, physical distancing measures in our spacious and well-ventilated clubs, mask requirements, touchless check-in and more.”

Daniel Gligich
Daniel Gligich is a reporter for The San Joaquin Valley Sun, focusing on Fresno State Athletics and the southern San Joaquin Valley. Email him at daniel.gligich@sjvsun.com.