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Businesses Begin Slow Process of Reopening

White lines now block off socially distant personal workout space inside Legion Transformation Center in Middletown where coaches have eagerly awaited news of Delaware’s plan to reopen businesses.

The COVID-19 pandemic led to the gym’s physical closure along with businesses throughout the state when Governor John Carney announced a state of emergency and a stay-at-home order back in March.

In spite of the uncertainty surrounding the pandemic, coaches and General Manager Frank Purfield remained dedicated to their motivated members who did not want to lose out on the workouts they have come to love. They created online content to stay engaged with their membership, not knowing where the future might lead the business.

“We have a lot of content online for our members to continue to use. I think we had about 20 percent of our members at Middletown put their accounts on hold [during the pandemic], so obviously that hurt us a little bit. But we had a lot of people who, once they realized we had online stuff, pulled their account out of a frozen status. Right now, we have quite a few members that work out at home for now until they are more comfortable,” Purfield said.

The gym, like other exercise facilities, reopened in early June at 30% of its fire code occupancy rate per phase one of Delaware’s Economic Reopening Plan released by Gov. Carney. Phase one also eliminated the out-of-state quarantine and concerns with short-term rentals.

This week, he released phase two set to begin Monday, June 15, emphasizing that the public must remain cautious moving forward through the reopening process.

“As businesses reopen and more Delawareans head back to work, it’s important to remember that COVID-19 is still active in Delaware,” said Governor Carney. “Delawareans need to remain vigilant. Keep distance from others outside your household. Wash and sanitize your hands frequently. Wear a face covering in public settings, and act with a sense of community. This pandemic is not over. Now’s not the time to let up.”

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