TUPELO, Miss. (WTVA) - Under the governor’s new guidelines, many gyms reopened for the first time since the pandemic.
Mississippi Mecca in Tupelo is one of the area's newest gyms. Owner Nathan Chapman said it was hard to close so soon into his first year of business.
“We’re excited to have everybody back in here,” said Chapman.
In order to keep everyone safe, Mecca has increased sanitation and cut down on capacity.
"We had the facility cleaned four or five times while we were closed,” said Chapman.
Workers also use a special disinfectant that clings to surfaces for an added layer of protection.
But Chapman wanted to go the extra mile.
“Every hour, we have one of our employees go through and wipe down any handles that are being touched," explained Chapman.
Regulars, like Chris Forrester, said it’s good to be back in the gym.
“The first it opened, I’m here,” said Forrester.
But for Forrester, pumping iron doesn’t beat public safety. So, Forrester made sure to wipe down every station he used after he was finished.
Chapman hopes the new guidelines pump everyone closer to a state of normalcy.
“We’ve missed everybody and we did this for the community,” said Chapman.
Chapman adjusted their hours to leave extra time for cleaning. They now close at 8 p.m. to get everything ready for the next day.