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Vestal karate studio closes out of precaution to kick Broome County COVID-19 spike to the curb

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VESTAL (WBNG) -- A local karate studio has shut down for at least a week as a precaution against COVID-19 amid the recent spike in cases in Broome County.

Owner of Fairbanks Karate Kathy Fairbanks has been practicing and teaching karate for decades.

After being forced to shut down for months due to the coronavirus back in the spring, she's now chosen, on her own, to do it again.

Fairbanks explained Monday, "On Thursday when Jason Garnar made the announcement that he was urging, not mandating, but urging people to stay home, I put some thought into it and even though I told students we wouldn't close again, I felt we needed to for this week... and if we can help to curb the numbers, it's what we need to do."

Right now she's only planning on being closed for a week and said a longer option could be detrimental.

"I don't know if we'll survive another full shutdown."

Nevertheless, it's a direction she hopes others in the area will follow.

"I'm trying to set a good example for my student and families...do their best to get the numbers under control and just keep supporting not just myself, but other small businesses."

While her studio is closed, Fairbanks said she's providing videos for her clients to do at home.

Upon reassessment, she hopes to reopen Monday October 12 if not sooner if numbers improve.

Julia Gorman

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