Fitness Businesses are Essential

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Millions of Californians who rely on a strong fitness regimen to maintain a healthy lifestyle no longer have access to their fitness facilities. While some have found other ways to exercise, the loss of proper equipment and a dedicated setting to work out are major barriers to maintaining fitness for those who do not have the financial or spatial means to have a home gym and cannot work out outside due to high temperatures.

Fitness is essential to physical and mental health. Not only does being in shape prevent chronic illnesses like diabetes and obesity, it also helps people combat COVID-19. The risks that COVID-19 poses to our community are important, but the data shows the rigorous safety standards implemented by fitness facilities are working. A survey of 150 fitness operators, representing 785 locations in California, found that of the 5.5 million members who checked into fitness facilities between June 12 and July 13, only .002 percent had tested positive for COVID-19 as of July 15, with no cases reported as a result from visits to fitness centers.

These results are convincing evidence that during the four weeks fitness facilities were permitted to reopen throughout most of the state, their full compliance with state and local reopening guidelines and the added specialized safety standards the fitness industry imposed on itself kept their members and employees safe while providing an essential service that made our communities healthier.

We respectfully ask California Governor Gavin Newsom to work with fitness industry leaders and county governments to allow local gyms, health clubs, fitness centers, spas, and studios to reopen their doors. As a state, we have a long road to recovery in front of us. Reopening fitness facilities will be key to getting many people back to work and will play a significant role in helping California recover physically, mentally, and economically.

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