Update from COVID Omicron New York City: The rise of the coronavirus impacts NYC gym business

NEW YORK CITY (WABC) — Gyms across New York City have reopened, but the rise in COVID-19 cases is having a drastic impact on business at a time when people are usually eager to shed those extra holiday pounds.

In the Training Lab in Midtown on Friday evening, the bustle after work came to a complete standstill.

For trainer Gabriela Olivier, it’s round three of COVID torture. No, the government hasn’t shut them down as before, but with the ommicron infections rolling through the city and plans to go back to work, her livelihood has been put on hold.

“We usually see a nice rise around Labor Day, but then a delta happened,” Olivier said. “Now we expect another revival here, and then ommicron happened. So we’re just rolling the punches.”

It’s the same story in the Fhitting Room on the Upper West Side. It is one of three group fitness studios that Kari Saitowitz owns, where she employs more than 60 people.

Her businesses were closed for 15 months before the state allowed them to open in March. But a spate of COVID infections among her staff forced her to close last month, before reopening this week.

“If you think about the sheer numbers that are either testing positive or concerned about testing positive, it has a drastic impact on the number of people who show up,” Saitowitz said.

Gov. Kathy Hochul was looking for good news in the trendline on Friday.

“It’s not the straight up and down like an arrow it was before. I want to be cautiously optimistic about what that means,” Hochul said.

Still, more than 80,000 New Yorkers tested positive again in the past 24 hours.

But even if the number of cases drops as quickly as they’ve risen or even as group classes fill up again, Saitowitz worries that we just don’t know what’s going to happen around the corner.

ALSO READ | NYC hospitals see increase in COVID-19 patients, more staff sick

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