The new mandate comes as the U.S. experiences a surge in COVID-19 cases and hospitalizations. Although this mandate is the first of its kind in the U.S., other countries have instituted similar policies.
Over the past few days, Equinox, SoulCycle, and Row Republic Boston disclosed that they will require consumers and members to show proof of vaccination to work out in their facilities.
In addition, the CDC (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention) recently updated its public health recommendations for fully vaccinated people. Under the new guidance, the CDC recommends that fully vaccinated people wear a mask in public indoor settings in areas of substantial or high transmission. Furthermore, the CDC recommends that fully vaccinated people who have come into close contact with someone with suspected or confirmed COVID-19 be tested three-to-five days after exposure and wear a mask in public indoor settings for 14 days or until they receive a negative test result. For now, these are recommendations. The U.S. has not issued a federal mask mandate, and individual states have not altered their current mask-wearing guidelines.
As the Global Health & Fitness Association, IHRSA released the following statement in regards to the new CDC guidelines and vaccine mandates.
The health, safety, and well-being of health club members is—and always has been—the utmost priority of the industry. IHRSA believes that all health clubs must adhere to best practices and government guidelines.
We know that vaccines are a critical tool against COVID-19 and for getting us out of this pandemic, so too is exercise. Many health clubs offered their facilities as vaccination sites and support the vaccinations of their members. As a natural extension of the healthcare continuum, health clubs are essential to public health, and they should remain open and therefore take the necessary steps prescribed by government to stay open.
Health Clubs Are Essential to Public Health
As a natural extension of the healthcare continuum, health clubs are essential to public health. They should remain open and accessible. Indeed, health clubs are a critical component in fighting COVID-19—as they are an indispensable tool in keeping people healthy and safe from the very underlying chronic diseases that make individuals most vulnerable to the virus.