My View: Gyms, restaurants unfairly targeted by restrictions
EDITOR'S NOTE: The following is an open letter to Gov. Kate Brown.
Gov. Brown, I hope this message finds you and your loved ones healthy and well.
These are difficult times to say the least. Many Oregonians have gotten sick and many have died from this terrible coronavirus pandemic. One death is too many; we can agree on that.
What I'm having a hard time agreeing with is the targeting and shuttering of many small businesses around oregon in the name of safety and sacrifice. In an effort to curb the rise of COVID-19, gyms, restaurants and bars have once again been asked to carry the heavy burden of sacrificing their way of live, their livelihood and their ability to provide for their communities and their families.
The data that your office and the state have gathered through contact tracing just doesn't point to gyms and restaurants as the leading cause for the spike in positive and presumptive positive COVID cases. Yet, they are the only businesses ordered through your mandate to close, and or heavily restrict their business operations.
The difficult thing about this decision is the fact that many gyms and restaurants have pivoted their normal operations to a more stringent mask and sanitization procedure in an effort to be good stewards of their communities, only to be singled out and punished, once again.
To be 100% transparent, my wife and I own a small gym in Gresham, and have built our business from nothing to the strong community that it is today. This is something we are very proud of. We have restricted our class sizes by 75%. We have cut our daily class offerings from nine classes down to six classes. We have incorporated strict sanitization procedures every hour for 30 minutes. We have enacted a 100% mandatory contact tracing procedure where we track those who comes in and when. And we have separated our entrance and exit to two different doors. All in an effort to maintain a high level of cleanliness, sanitization and physical distancing to help our employees, contractors, members and their friends and family, have a safe and clean experience while working on their health and wellness.
Our physical and mental health is as important now as it ever has been. Ordering gyms to close only makes all-around health and combatting diseases very difficult at a time when it is most important.
Gov. Brown, please reconsider your mandate to shut down gyms. Please allow us as small business owners to continue to do what we've been doing all along in an effort to bring health and wellness to our communities when they so desperately need it.
I am available for a conversation anytime. I'd love to chat about how we, as small business and gym owners, are doing our part in fighting the coronavirus.
Randy Lauer is co-owner of 3-46 GRIT CrossFit in Gresham.
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