As Jackson County allows gyms, churches to reopen, other businesses left frustrated

Kansas

KANSAS CITY, Mo. — Fitness centers and churches in Jackson County will soon be allowed to open up, but with some restrictions.

Other businesses are frustrated, feeling left in the dark as they are still forced to remain closed.

Kurt Mueller is overjoyed his gym, Blue Springs Fitness, will be welcoming back members Monday.

“It’s really hard to even express that. I was, elated, even today, on top of the world when I finally got that news,” Mueller said.

He and other gym owners helped get Jackson County’s guidelines for reopening revised. Come Monday, May 18, Mueller’s gym will be limited to 20 guests. He’s shut off half the cardio equipment, closed off group fitness, spa and childcare areas.

“I have rehired my daycare people since they won’t be able to work in childcare. They’re going to be here and cleaning. Cleaning has been ramped up 10 times,” Mueller said.

Fitness centers and churches looking to reopen can have 25% capacity if the space is less than 10,000 feet. Spaces larger than that are limited to 10% occupancy.

But some businesses are still being left out.

“It’s definitely a little frustrating not being included in Phase One for the Jackson County guidelines, but it’s probably more frustrating we don’t even know what phase we are in,” said Sara Strickland, proprietor of Lee’s Summit Lanes.

Strickland, her husband and a third business partner just took over operations at Lee’s Summit Lanes six months ago.

“We know our customers miss us, and we miss them more,” Strickland said.

They’re thankful for federal money to help wait out the shutdown. The bowling center’s already laid out new safety measures for reopening.

But so far, Jackson County has offered zero information on when and how that might happen.

“We just want to prepare as much as we can so the minute we’re allowed to reopen our doors, we can, and we aren’t having to stay closed longer to meet some guidelines we didn’t know about until the last minute,” Strickland said.

For now, they’re installing partitions to separate customers and employees. They’re planning to keep half the lanes closed and limit access to equipment, sanitizing everything between use.

Employees will also be temperature checked and required to wear masks, once the county gives the green light to reopen.

As for churches, you may recall Abundant Life sued Jackson County over being forced to stay closed.

With the new revised guidelines, the church said both its Lee’s Summit and Blue Springs campuses will meet with 10% capacity this weekend.

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