Gyms Are Safe

Aug 28, 2020

Dear Valued Members,

We know that the past six months have challenged everyone in many ways. As a country we want to do what is right, do what makes us feel safe, yet the information surrounding COVID-19 continues to change as we continue to learn more. In some cases, what dominated headlines four months ago has already been debunked while new information is not getting the same attention. We are sharing the following facts and data to help highlight the essential nature of health and fitness to our North Carolina communities.

There is no evidence that health and fitness facilities are contributing to the spread of COVID-19.

  • In mid-May, O2 Fitness reopened our five clubs in Charleston, South Carolina. Since reopening, we have seen more than 75,000 individual member check-ins without a single case of COVID-19 spread inside our health clubs.
  • This trend also aligns with broader industry data. MXM, a well-respected fitness operations company, surveyed 2,877 health clubs across the US that totaled more than 49.5 million check-ins. The survey found only 1,155 positive cases were reported/traced to individuals who entered a fitness facility through August 5th, representing a virus-to-check-in ratio of less than 0.00002%. Following tracing protocols to determine who else may have come into contact with the few reported individual cases in the MXM survey, no spread of the novel coronavirus to other fitness club members was found. This data not only shows there was not a single case of virus transmission in more than 2,000 operating health clubs, it also illustrates one of the unique advantages of the fitness industry: we know every person who was in our clubs on any given day and can use member check-in data for immediate contact tracing should it be necessary. This is an assurance few businesses can provide.
  • Norwegian public health researchers found no COVID-19 transmissions associated with fitness centers in a randomized trial of more than 3,000 members of clubs offering typical fitness services, including higher intensity exercises, with mitigation protocols that were simple and much less stringent than our O2 guidelines. As a result of the study, Norway reopened gyms nationwide in June and have not seen any issues.

Members Uphold a Higher Code of Conduct

Members Uphold a Higher Code of Conduct
It’s very important to remember that you’re a member, not a customer. Just like our O2 Fitness team members, our members prioritize health and wellbeing and, therefore, are much more likely to adhere to established safety and cleaning protocols than customers of other businesses. If those guidelines are not being followed by a member, we have the ability to cancel their O2 Fitness membership and remove their access to any of our clubs.

The Best Defense is Good Health

The Best Defense is Good Health
Finally, our own immune system is the best defense we have. Healthier people—even if infected—are less likely to require hospital care, easing pressures on our health care systems. Everyday, fitness clubs like O2 fight three of the top comorbidities associated with COVID-19 hospitalizations: hypertension, diabetes and of course, obesity. In addition, as many outlets have highlighted recently, vaccines are almost always less effective for obese people and most experts expect the same to be true when a coronavirus vaccine is available.

There are no facts or data to support the assertion that clubs are spreading COVID-19. In fact, there is overwhelming data that fitness clubs can help members improve their immune systems while also increasing the likely effectiveness of a potential vaccine.

As an industry, we are passionate and committed to the health and wellbeing of our members and our communities. We truly appreciate your ongoing support and membership and we eagerly look forward to serving you in our clubs soon.

In Health,
Team O2 Fitness

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