No matter the degree of social distancing or how many best practices proprietors may implement, businesses that open without the blessing of the state of Ohio will be forced to close.
Ragnar Fitness and Yoga didn’t make it through its second in-person class of the day Monday before an officer of the Bellefontaine Police Department was dispatched to the exercise studio at 130 S. Main St., SuiteB105, and directed the class participants to disperse.
No misdemeanor citations or fines were issued, but law enforcement did force the closure of the business, in accordance with ongoing directives from Ohio Governor Mike DeWine, and health department director Amy Acton.
The sports and fitness instruction center located in the Main Street Market Place announced Saturday, May 2, that it planned to conduct two classes per day at 10 a.m. and 5 p.m. beginning Monday through Friday.
“I am saddened to report to you all that due to circumstances outside of our control we will be returning to a virtual studio only until further notice,” the fitness and yoga studio posted to its Facebook page Monday evening.
In a Facebook Live video posted Sunday afternoon owner Lynnsey Ramsey detailed a number of social distancing and precautionary measures filed with the Logan County Health District that were being implemented to both comply with state government’s orders and to curb any spread of germs.
Class sizes were being limited to eight participants in order to comply with Gov. DeWine’s restriction on gatherings of 10 people or more, Ramsey said in the video.
Additionally, instructors were setting up individual workout spaces to prevent any sharing of equipment during class, and participants were required to wash their hands prior to entering the studio. Water service was also eliminated, and any class participants were required to bring their own water bottles.
By limiting class size, preventing class participants from handling multiple different weights in a single session and setting up individual work stations, Ramsey said she was confident there was enough space in her 2,000-square-foot studio for everyone to work out safely.
Regardless, none of that mattered against the ongoing ‘stay safe’ statewide directive.
While some manufacturing and healthcare businesses have been permitted to reopen as part of Gov. DeWine’s “phased” reopening, gyms, health clubs and fitness and yoga studios are not currently permitted to be open; and so when the Logan County Health District was notified the business was operating outside the bounds of the governor’s order, local officials were forced to act, Bellefontaine Mayor Ben Stahler said.
“Often times, the role of our police officers is thankless,” the mayor said. “While we are under the governor’s directive, Stay Safe Ohio, local law enforcement throughout Ohio has been tasked to apply those same standards in all of the communities throughout our state.”
Monday marked the first call for service for city police to respond to a business operating against the state of Ohio directives, the mayor said.
At an April 28 regular meeting of the Bellefontaine City Council, Stahler said it was not the intention of city administrators or the police department to harass or needlessly fine or cite local businesses, but any complaints would be followed up on and businesses owners would be expected to comply.
“The business owner was cooperative and no one was cited. It is certainly the hopes of this city administrator that we are moving past these restrictions to our small businesses, and getting back to supporting all of them in the coming days,” the mayor concluded.