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San Diego Gyms Prepare To Operate Outdoors Under Purple Tier

Point Loma resident Nate Dimelfi lifts weights at Point Loma Sports Club's pa...

Photo by Matthew Bowler

Above: Point Loma resident Nate Dimelfi lifts weights at Point Loma Sports Club's parking lot gym. Nov. 11, 2020.

Gyms, restaurants, churches and movie theatres will have to stop indoor operations by Saturday, due to a rising number of coronavirus cases San Diego county.

"It hasn’t been easy — but in order to thrive you have to adapt," said Point Loma Sports Club general manager Bryan Welch.

Listen to this story by Matt Hoffman.

Point Loma Sports Club has more than 20,000 square feet of indoor exercise space that will sit dormant for at least the next three weeks. The club is moving all operations to their parking lot where more than 120,000 pounds of equipment is set up.

"Our mindset was let's just assume we’re outside for a year," Welch said.

RELATED: San Diego County Will Enter Purple Tier Saturday As COVID-19 Cases Increase

The sports club has moved group classes outdoors too.

"We require masks basically throughout the facility even outdoors, and we’ve preached that mantra, like, 'I’m not doing it just for me I’m doing it for you and for your family,'" Welch said.

While some people have frozen their memberships, Point Loma Sports Club has added some new members who are happy the club is strictly enforcing wearing face coverings and sanitizing equipment.

Reported by Matt Hoffman , Video by Matthew Bowler

"They’ve been good with that since they reopened on day one, and so I’ve kind of just stayed here," said Point Loma resident Nate Dimelfi was working out Wednesday.

Dimelfi was going to a different gym, but said the staff did not require people to wear masks.

"I didn't necessarily feel safe there," he said. "I felt very much on edge."

RELATED: After Defying Public Health Rules, San Diego Gym Will Likely Pay Zero In Fines

For Dimelfi, the gym is a place that is important for his physical health and also his mental health. He is grateful that places like Point Loma Sports Club are adapting during the pandemic.

"Part of the reason why I even started coming; I was in a really low place mentally during high school so I started coming to the gym to get rid of anxiety and stress," Dimelfi said.

Now that we're in winter, Point Loma Sports Club management is looking to add some rain guards and heaters for the outside workout space. They will be exclusively operating out of the parking lot starting Saturday until San Diego county exits the state’s purple tier.

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Matt Hoffman
General Assignment Reporter

opening quote marksclosing quote marksI am a general assignment reporter for KPBS. In addition to covering the latest news and issues that are relevant to the San Diego community, I like to dig deeper to find the voices and perspectives that other media often miss.

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