For trainer Gabriela Olivier, it’s round three of COVID torture. No, the government hasn’t shut them down like before, but with omicron infections rolling through the city and return-to-work plans on hold again, so is her livelihood.
It’s the same story at the Fhitting Room on the Upper West Side. It’s one of three group fitness studios Kari Saitowitz owns where she employs more than 60 people.
“If you think about the sheer numbers who are either testing positive or concerned about testing positive, it has a drastic impact on the number of people who show up,” Saitowitz said.
Her businesses were closed for 15 months before the state allowed them to open in March. But a wave of COVID infections among her staff forced her to shut down last month, before reopening this week.
At the Training Lab in Midtown on Friday night, the after-work rush was on a business freeze all over again.
“We typically see a nice uptick around Labor Day but then delta happened,” Olivier said. “Now we’re here expecting another uptick, and then omicron happened. So we’re kinda just rolling with the punches.”
Gov. Kathy Hochul was looking for good news in the trend line on Friday.
“It’s not the straight up and down like an arrow it was before, I want to be cautiously optimistic about what that means,” Hochul said.
Still, more than 80,000 New Yorkers tested newly positive just in the previous 24 hours. But even if cases drop just as quickly as they’ve skyrocketed or even if group classes fill up again, Saitowitz worries that we just don’t know what’s next around the corner.
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