Support Local Journalism


Subscribe


Gyms in Bozeman announced Tuesday closures over fears of spreading the coronavirus.

Steve Roderick with Ridge Athletic Clubs told members in an email the gym would be closed until March 30 and that members would be given credit for that time to be used at their discretion. The email said the decision comes from the rapidly changing information about coronavirus and for the safety of its members and staff.

“We feel that this is the prudent thing to do until the immediate threat of the covid-19 coronavirus is contained,” the email said.

Roderick said the club would use the closure to disinfect the gym and that would take the place of its annual “Club Scrub,” which would allow the gym to stay open in August.

Roderick said the gym understands the need for childcare and would continue to offer that service. He said the club would also offer “online virtual exercises programming from Les Mills.”

Fuel Fitness’ website showed that the Bozeman location would close until March 23, when it plans to reopen at 8 a.m. The website said the gym would offer live classes on Facebook every night through March and to check the site for information on changes.

The gym closures come a day after the county issued an order closing local bars, brew pubs, wineries, casinos and restaurants until March 24 to help reduce the spread of coronavirus. The order allows restaurants to offer takeout and delivery services and does not apply to grocery stores, convenience stores and deli counters within grocery stores.

County officials said they haven’t run into any problems over the closures.

County health officer Matt Kelley told the Chronicle Tuesday that St. Patrick’s Day was an initial concern and seemed like an imminent public health risk that the health department felt it needed to take care of. He said he’s urging everyone to take personal responsibility and exercise common sense to help prevent the spread of the virus.

“We need people to stay home when they can,” Kelley said.

The order is specific to people being in close quarters, Kelley said, and he encouraged people to take the precautions. However, he said, people can go out for groceries, hikes and sunshine if they’re feeling well to do so.

“We’ll consider other orders in the future as we need to, but right now what I’m urging everyone to do is take personal responsibility,” he said. “We need to see the streets kind of empty.”

Kelley said the goal isn’t to throw business owners in jail for being non-compliant, rather he’d like to work with them as partners.

“As long as people are making a good faith effort, I think that’s what we’re really after here,” Kelley said.

Bozeman Police Chief Steve Crawford said some businesses “self-regulated” and voluntarily closed ahead of when the health department asked them to do so.

“It’s not about the enforcement piece, and we’re seeing everybody wanting to do the right thing,” Crawford said.

Gallatin County Sheriff Brian Gootkin said law enforcement would talk to owners if their business is found out of compliance and explain the law to them.

“We’re going to work with them, and say, ‘hey, listen, this is for everyone’s safety. We need you to comply,’” Gootkin said.

On Tuesday, the health department launched a call center in response to coronavirus that will be available from Monday to Friday from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. People with questions or concerns about the virus could call 406-548-0123 to speak with health department personnel, retired health care personnel and health care nurses.

Support Local Journalism

To see what else is happening in Gallatin County subscribe to the online paper.

Freddy Monares can be reached at fmonares@dailychronicle.com or at 406-582-2630.