Fort Lauderdale

Ft. Lauderdale Allows Gyms to Open, Broward County Does Not, Leaving Owners Confused

Fort Lauderdale said that commercial gyms could reopen, even though Broward County hasn't given the green light, causing confusion among business owners

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As much of Florida begins to reopen, officials at the city, county, and state level have each been issuing their own guidelines and mandates that do not always align, leaving some business orders confused about the status quo.

Karen Winselmann, a longtime Pure Pilates owner, said she was thrown for a loop when trying to figure out when to reopen.

Broward County has so far allowed for the reopening of gyms at housing developments and condominiums, not commercial locations.

But Fort Lauderdale, a city within Broward County, defied these orders and said it would allow commercial gyms to open as long as they follow guidelines for hygiene and social distancing from the CDC.

"It seemed a little confusing because Miami-Dade said we’re not going to (open gyms), Broward said no comment…I did research on Saturday and Ft. Lauderdale is allowed to open," Winselmann said.

In a virtual press conference on Monday, Broward County mayor Dale V.C. Holness acknowledged Fort Lauderdale’s independent order.

"It's not a gym wars," Holness said. "It’s a disagreement."

Last week, Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis said that commercial gyms can open statewide this week at 50% capacity, although counties are allowed to enforce stricter orders.

Winselmann says she is following DeSantis's orders and will open her doors the Tuesday after Memorial Day, prepared with masks for her instructors and other protections.

“I would love to open as soon as I responsibly can but my purpose is to protect and keep the safety of my clients and my team and my studio," she said.

"So until the protective equipment arrives - which is not scheduled with delivery delays - I won’t be open until next Tuesday.”

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