Town gyms, spas feeling the strain from coronavirus

Mar 18, 2020

Along with many Dartmouth businesses, the town’s spas and gyms are feeling the strain of the coronavirus pandemic sweeping the globe.

Some are closing, at least one until May, and all have made some changes to their schedule or routine.

All six branch locations of YMCA Southcoast have been closed, including the Dartmouth location. Childcare participants will still be served, “until we receive an order stating otherwise,’’ according to a statement released by James Scherer, president and CEO of YMCA Southcoast.

He encouraged members to take advantage of online workouts and classes.

Economically, for the next few weeks, “we should be fine,’’ he said. If the closures go longer, “We will need to create strategies’’ to maintain memberships.

The main priority, he said, is “to keep our members healthy.”

La’i Spa will be closed until May 4, director of operations Yuriy Ivanov said. One factor in that decision was their location in a medical facility, Prime Medical Associates.

The clinic will “inevitably treat Covid patients,” he said.

The required social distancing of six feet also impacted the decision. “That’s impossible given the nature of what we do,” he said. “We’re interacting with people directly.”

Stephen and Co. Salon remains open as of Tuesday, but Stephanie Sauve, an owner of the business, said they are “closely monitoring changes’’ to the situation. “It’s a waiting game,’’ she said.

In the meantime, “we’re keeping things spotless,” she said. They’re doing even more cleaning than usual, she said, and are “disinfecting everything.’’

“My biggest concern is for my staff and everyone coming in,” she said.

Drift Day Spa will be closed for two weeks “as a safety precaution for social distancing for both our guests and our staff,” said owner Dawn Oyenuga.

“The impact on the business and my staff is pretty significant but we strongly feel that being proactive in protecting our community is what is most important,’’ she said. “My staff is a truly amazing family of ladies … we will work extra hard to support each other during this time as well as prepare ourselves to bounce back strong. We are confident our community will be back out to support us as soon as possible.’’

Capacity at Dartmouth Athletic Club will be restricted to 25 people at a time, general manager Jake Canty said. Clients are asked to limit their workouts to one hour.

The club will rent spin bikes for free to members to allow them to exercise from home, he said.

“The health of our members” remains a priority, he said, both in its mission in a business and during the crisis.

Planet Fitness will be closed effective March 16 and will reopen as soon as soon as permitted, according to information on the Web site. An employee at the Dartmouth location referred any additional questions to corporate headquarters.