Wednesday is the first day that gyms, fitness centers and dance studios are allowed to reopen in San Joaquin County.

An updated stay-at-home order from the San Joaquin County public health officer and director of emergency services was released Tuesday evening. The order notes that similar businesses are opening in neighboring counties, and there's a risk that people would go outside of the county to take advantage of them, potentially increasing the spread of COVID-19, if local gyms weren't also opened.

The order requires gyms and other fitness facilities to follow the state's guidance for the industry (PDF) to prevent the spread of COVID-19. Careful disinfecting and distancing are among the requirements. 

Some other businesses included in the state's Stage 3 reopening plan were allowed to resume activities as of Friday, including schools and day camps, casinos and card rooms, hotels, campgrounds, and outdoor pools and recreation areas. 

Most organized sports are not yet permitted. Certain other fitness center activities are also still restricted.

As of Tuesday morning, San Joaquin County had recorded 1,749 cases of COVID-19, including 670 new cases confirmed in the past 14 days. There were 49 county residents hospitalized with the disease, and 47 people in the county had died from it since reporting began in early March. 

Dr. Maggie Park, the county's public health officer, told the county board of supervisors Tuesday that there were more people in local intensive care units with COVID-19 than ever before. 

“We have no arsenal or weapons against the virus except for social distancing, sanitation, and wearing face masks in public,” she said. “We need to consider the sense of responsibility to the community so that we can continue to reopen all of the businesses.”

COVID-19 cases reach new highs in San Joaquin County

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