JEFFERSON CITY- At 12:01 p.m. Saturday, non-essential businesses, such as bars, gyms, and restaurants opened their doors in Cole County.
It comes after the Cole County Health Department announced the countywide stay-at-home order would not be extended Tuesday.
Capital Fitness, a Jefferson City gym, joined other non-essential Cole County business owners in opening their doors. The owner of the gym, Luke Gabriel, said being open is a great feeling.
“It’s like when you go back to school and you get to see all your friends again,” Gabriel said.
Cole County remains under the statewide stay-at-home order Gov. Mike Parson extended until May 4. The order still requires social distancing and social gathering restrictions.
Gabriel said the gym continuously gets cleaned because members are required to clean the equipment they use. He also said he goes through and cleans everything again at the end of the day.
Capital Fitness is asking member to call in before they arrive to make sure they are spacing out guests and avoiding maximum capacity.
“We normally don’t have an issue with keeping 10 people in here, we normally have about 5 to 6 at most,” Gabriel said.
Jacob Pinkston, a Capital Fitness member, said he was eagerly waiting for the gym to reopen. He said it’s like his second home.
“We’re pretty much a big family here, so it’s nice to be back with the family,” Pinkston said.
Since the stay-at-home order was put into place, Pinkston has been doing at-home workouts using smaller weights and his own body weight. He said being at the gym is a completely different environment from an at-home workout.
“At home you’ve got distractions. The TV, food on the counter, cookies, whatever it may be. Here it’s you come and you put in work time,”he said.
The Cole County Health Department said, “We anticipate that there may be an increase in positive cases as specific restrictions are lifted. After consultation with both major health care systems in Cole County, they have reported adequate capacity and testing capabilities.”
The Health Department is still advising people to stay home when possible, wash your hands, social distance, and use hand sanitizer.