Reopen Fitness Providers As Essential Health Services & Provide Funding To Sustain Them

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As of November 20th 2020, the City of Philadelphia completely shut down all fitness facilities without showing valid transmission data or providing funds to keep our business afloat.

The mayor has cut off the #1 tool our community uses to maintain their mental and physical wellness. If this continues it will be a death blow to an already decimated industry, eliminating jobs and income for thousands of employees.

The Philadelphia Fitness Coalition, is a group of over 30 gyms and fitness studios established to speak for the local fitness industry with city and state officials.

We collected data on over 260,000 indoor visits from July to Nov 2020 and ONLY 30 reported cases walked into our locations. There was a 0% transmission rate traced from person to person. Not a single person contracted COVID from our facilities.

The data doesn’t lie. When fitness facilities employ effective, CDC, state and local approved guidelines – gyms are a safe and healthy place to be.

Our members’ health is our #1 purpose. We have adhered to the strict restrictions already suffocating our businesses and developed extensive protocols to ensure safety.

Industry association studies in both the United States and Europe show extremely low transmission rates. In 3 months time, 49.4 MILLION visits took place among 2,873 US fitness providers with a recorded .0023% infection rate among those users, with NO direct evidence that the positive cases originated from the gym. (sources: IHRSA and MXM) 

Have we forgotten that exercise is the best medicine? Exercise, nutrition and being fit is the #1 way to build a healthy immune system and counteract the increasing stress, substance abuse and deteriorating mental health during the pandemic.

Many top medical professionals agree that fitness should remain open as an essential service including ex Deputy Surgeon General, Kenneth Mortizguru. The Chicago Medical Society sent a letter to their Mayor requesting greater opening hours for fitness providers so that their own hospital workers, who would not put themselves in risky situations, could get the mental and physical benefit of effective exercise.

With the Winter cold and darkness we can no longer provide services outdoors in early mornings and evenings, nor are online/at-home services as effective at motivating exercise. Philadelphians will be sedate and isolated this Winter if we remain shuttered. 

The Philadelphia Fitness Coalition has the following reasonable requests to ensure our industry’s survival in Philadelphia:

  • Open discussion and consideration with decision makers in the Philadelphia Department of Public Health, the Mayor and the Chamber of Commerce within 2 weeks.
  • Name gyms and fitness studios as essential health service businesses.
  • Allow gyms and fitness studios to reopen immediately under agreed upon restrictions and safety protocols.
  • Expedited city and state grants to fitness providers to bridge us until restrictions can be lifted fully.
  • Passing The National Health & Fitness Recovery Act (H.R.8485) to provide funds for our failing industry like they did for banks and airlines.

Signing this petition shows your support for making fitness providers an essential category of business and that you, by and large, feel safe using our services with the current restrictions. 

We all appreciate your love and support.