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Appreciative of approach allowing gyms, fitness centers to be open

As we continue to find ways to live with COVID-19, the fitness industry appreciates the balanced approach taken by Gov. Eric Holcomb, state officials and their local government partners to mitigate the spread of the virus and protect Hoosiers while recognizing the need to keep our economy open. We believe this approach has helped our industry survive the pandemic and positions our state to thrive in the post-pandemic economy.

As a result of efforts by fitness center operators in Indiana and across the country, gyms have proven there is a low risk of contracting COVID-19 at our facilities. We believe state and local officials have seen this in their contact tracing and, as a result, have made the fact-based decision to allow our industry to operate with mitigation measures in place.

Here in Indiana, one fitness center operator reports that of 974,919 workouts at their 17 studios across the state, there have only been 166 confirmed cases of COVID-19, none of which has been linked to an outbreak at a fitness facility. Fitness center operators across the state report uniformly similar data.

This data from Indiana is in line with publicly available contact tracing from other states. In Colorado, where fitness centers reopened in June, of the 31,308 total cases that the state associated with outbreaks, only 10 confirmed cases resulted from outbreaks linked to health clubs or fitness centers.

Additionally, new data from San Diego County’s contact tracing program shows there is a low risk of spread at gyms and fitness centers. The county data from over a two-week period in October and November shows gyms and fitness centers were responsible for only 0.5% of new cases during this period.

While some governors are closing gyms and fitness centers to combat this latest surge of COVID-19 cases, we are thankful that Gov. Holcomb, state officials and local governments have taken a balanced approach and are following the science, which allows our industry to stay open with common-sense mitigation strategies in place. The operators of the more than 400 fitness centers, and our 32,000 team members, look forward to helping Hoosiers improve their physical fitness and mental well-being and persevere until we put the pandemic behind us.

Kaity Wachtel, Regional Fitness Director

and Billy Szczudlak, General Manager, Orangetheory