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    A Small Victory: Gyms Included in Phase 1 of Reopening Plan

    In a recent press conference, the White House coronavirus task force announced that health clubs are to be included in Phase 1 of reopening. IHRSA sends gratitude to President Trump for recognizing the importance of the fitness industry.

    Although reopening U.S. businesses is a process that will not happen overnight, and will differ throughout each county, this is a small step in the right direction towards normalcy.

    During an April 16 press conference, President Trump and the White House coronavirus task force discussed the three-part reopening plan, which included the recognition that health clubs are vital to Americans and therefore, are necessary to include in Phase 1. The inclusion of health clubs speaks volumes on the central and essential role health clubs, their staff, and their suppliers play in enhancing the health and wellness of the population.

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    IHRSA sent a letter to President Trump thanking him for understanding the importance of opening health clubs and gyms. The letter was authored by IHRSA President and CEO Joe Moore and Newtown Athletic Club Owner and Ex-officio of the IHRSA Board of Directors Jim Worthington, who is also a member of the President's Council on Sports, Fitness and Nutrition. It notes that the entire global fitness industry applauds President Trump for including health clubs in Phase 1 of reopening.

    “At a time when the health of the nation is under attack by the coronavirus, the health of all citizens is integral to the economic and social health of the country. We are grateful to President Trump and this administration for recognizing that the cornerstone of that health is a physically active population,” says Moore. “Health clubs, their staff, and their suppliers are vital to our nation’s current and long-term health.”

    Throughout the press conference, the Trump administration noted that reopening is to be determined by local government and health officials. Before beginning Phase 1 of reopening, guidelines include the following criteria:

    • The downward trajectory of influenza-like illnesses and a downward trajectory of COVID-like syndromic cases reported within a 14-day period,
    • The downward trajectory of documented cases or downward trajectory of positive tests as a percent of total tests within a 14-day period (flat or increasing volume of tests),
    • Hospitals can treat all cases without crisis care, and a robust testing program is in place for at-risk healthcare workers, including emerging antibody testing.

    Along with reopening health clubs, Phase 1 also includes places of worship, sporting venues, restaurants, and movie theatres, given they can observe strict social distancing requirements. Refer to the guidelines of Opening Up America Again for more information.

    Reopening plans are being developed around the world and in the U.S. at the local and regional levels. IHRSA is currently working with global public health organizations as well as those in the U.S., gathering best practices and procedures based on current science, to create a framework for safe access to our clubs. IHRSA will disseminate our findings so that when the doors of the world’s health clubs are all reopened, it is with the same knowledge.

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    IHRSA Staff @IHRSA

    This article was a team effort by several IHRSA experts.