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Alejandra Salas, owner of Reno Aspire Fitness, at her gym on March 19, 2020. Photo by Joey Lovato.

Workers throughout the state are facing layoffs and financial uncertainties as businesses begin to close their doors to reduce and prevent the proliferation of COVID-19, per Gov. Steve Sisolak’s guidance to close all ‘non-essential’ businesses for the next 30 days.

As businesses and individuals navigate an uncertain future, they are getting creative — a Reno distillery is using its alcohol to make hand sanitizer and a coffee shop created a social media campaign they called “#localdollars.” Some restaurants are decreasing hours, but promising to feed employees.

The Nevada Independent will be sharing one of their stories each day. If you are a Nevada business owner or worker whose job has been upended by coronavirus, we’d love to feature your story. Send an email to [email protected] for consideration. 

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Alejandra Salas, known as “Allie” to her friends and clients, started her gym a year and five months ago and is worried about lack of income from people canceling the gym classes she teaches.

“I want to look out for the community. So that’s why I canceled my bootcamp classes. I want to stop the community spread. So I’m doing the best that I can, but of course I have to stay afloat,” she said. “I’m good for March for a month, but I don’t know how long this is going to last.”

Salas has had to get creative, livestreaming her bootcamp sessions at night and trying to remain optimistic.

“I’m super tech savvy, so I’m super thankful that I have that on my side,” she said. “I’m going to keep on trying and figuring out how to do an online base if I have to, because it’s important to stay healthy. I know we’re in quarantine, but we gotta keep the movement going.”

When she started hearing about the coronavirus, Salas said she established rigid cleaning policies in the gym, and had people maintain CDC recommended distances.

“I have Lysol, so I try to spray to disinfect the area after clients leave and before they use the equipment … we’re just being super cautious,” she said in an interview on Thursday, the day before Gov. Steve Sisolak ordered all “non-essential” businesses to shut down, including fitness studios. “Luckily, I don’t have to share space with anyone.”

Even though Salas has been following recommendations, she said she still feels lost.

“I want to set an example for the community, but I would be lying if I said I wasn’t feeling scared or confused,” she said. “I feel alone right now. I’m a little business owner, what’s gonna happen? I’m not a huge corporation.”

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