Gym goers wear masks at the Fit Republic at Fresno Street and Herndon Avenue Thursday morning. Photo by Donald A. Promnitz

published on July 23, 2020 - 1:09 PM
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A surge of Covid-19 infections in Fresno County and a state-mandated closure of gyms has not stopped Christopher Montoya or the hundreds of people who use his gym.

Christopher Montoya


This week, Fit Republic’s Fresno Street and Herndon Avenue site opened its doors after receiving what Montoya said was popular demand, outlined in a pamphlet he offered with testimony from members on the importance of fitness in their lives.

“We’ve had a lot of people reach out saying they’re struggling with their diabetes — they’re not getting their activity levels that they need and the workouts they need, and we have people who say their depression is really hard without working out,” Montoya said.

In order to keep the gym safe, Montoya says his gym has partnered up with the VERA Health app to screen members at the door. He added they wipe down all their equipment and are taking every precaution. Gym goers were wearing facial covers on Thursday morning, according to mandate.

“Walmart has put out their numbers,” he said. “They do 7,500 guests a day that walk through each location’s doors. I went in there the other day and just watched, and there’s no cleaning going on there.”

Right now, Fit Republic only has the one franchise open that sees approximately 400 workouts in a 14-hour day. Montoya says he’s reached out to the City of Fresno with hopes to convince them that a gym can be safely run in a pandemic.

According to Rodney Horton, housing and revitalization manager for the Fresno City Attorney’s Office, Fit Republic received a notification yesterday that they were in violation of Gov. Newsom’s orders, and enforcers would return later in the afternoon.

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