Gym owner in ‘yellow zone’ tired of emotional rollercoaster

“I would stay open"
Posted at 6:02 PM, Nov 16, 2020
and last updated 2020-11-16 18:02:06-05

AMHERST, NY (WKBW) — “It’s very frustrating to be on an emotional rollercoaster especially fitness facilities that are essential,” remarked Amy Bueme, owner, Cataylst Fitness.

Cataylst Fitness in Amherst.

COVID-19 cases have been on a steady rise in Erie County. Parts of the county are already in a ‘yellow zone’, placing certain restrictions on businesses.

There are seven Catalyst Fitness locations inside Erie County's yellow zone, where gyms must close by 10 p.m. under the yellow zone.

Bueme said she's fears another shutdown.

Amy Bueme, owner, Cataylst Fitness.

“We are not a spreader. We are helping. We are solving the problem — not a part of the problem,” said Bueme.

But the owner of Catalyst Fitness says if the state orders another shutdown, she will not close.

“I would stay open because essential places don't close — and we are essential. Why should I close? The people are counting on us to keep them healthy and sane to be able to go through everything that they're being put through right now,” replied Bueme.

Cataylst Fitness owner wearing mask under COVID rules.

Bueme said after being closed nearly six months during the height of the pandemic, she spent thousands of dollars to create safe areas to reopen.

“And I invite Kathy Hochul — who's supposed to be supporting us — going to the governor to say listen — this is a very safe — essential place for our citizens, for people in our state,” Bueme explained.

COVID regulations in place at gym.

“The last thing we want to do is have more restrictions on our businesses who have been just clobbered because of the pandemic,” stated Kathy Hochul, NYS Lt. Governor.

While making a stop in Williamsville Monday, Hochul took a few questions Monday about the growing covid cases here in Erie County.

7 Eyewitness News asked Hochul if we are inching toward an orange zone as part of the micro cluster.

Kathy Hochul, NYS Lt. Governor, took questions about COVID Monday.

“We’re in the yellow right now. We hope to stay in yellow for a while — that maybe the case, but there may be some announcements coming up very shortly,” responded Hochul.

But Hochul stopped short of saying what that could mean for businesses.

For now, Carolyn Fanaro, 71, has been Catalyst Fitness customer for several years. She's said after three bouts with cancer, she's trying to keep her body fit and it would be really tough to work out at home again.

Carolyn Fanaro, 71, has been Catalyst Fitness customer, cleans off equipment before using.

“It’s more difficult at home — not a lot of space to do it and it means a lot,” said Fanaro.

“Do you feel safe coming here?” Buckley asked. “Yes, I do. I see three cleaners during the day, they’re mopping the floor, wiping down the machines,” answered Fanaro.

The Lt. Governor says Western New Yorkers can turn around the high COVID numbers by watching their own behaviors.

“I’m just going to keep sounding the alarm because we are in a very dire situation,” stated Hochul.