Colorado gyms are safer during the pandemic than previously thought

Colorado gyms and health clubs were responsible for “no outbreak” of COVID-19, according to CDPHE statistics analyzed by researchers at the University of Oregon. (Provided by Planet Fitness)

With many members of the academy still wondering about the safety of their clubs and fitness industry employees warning that they are facing a struggle for survival, an analysis of Colorado health data by researchers at the University of Oregon suggests that there has been little dissemination of the COVID-19 at state gyms.

The International Health, Racquet & Sportsclub Association, which commissioned the study, reported in October that its data showed a minuscule infection rate in US gyms of 1,155 cases in 49.4 million gym check-ins (0.0023% ). He then asked the Oregon Consulting Group, based at the University of Oregon business school, to conduct an independent study. These researchers chose Colorado to study, analyzing data provided by the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment.

The study, based on CDPHE statistics as of November 18, was published on December 7. He covered 32 weeks of Colorado gym attendance data, representing nearly 8.5 million check-ins, and found no link to 59 outbreaks reported by CDPHE.

“Available data suggest that, compared to other settings, gyms are not a predominant source of COVID-19 outbreaks,” said the study. “There have been no reported outbreaks at comparable gyms or sports facilities.” An outbreak is defined as a broadcast event that includes two or more people in a workplace or facility.

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The data indicated that gyms are safer than bars, restaurants and supermarkets, while more than half of the COVID-19 outbreaks came from “health care facilities”.

Colorado gyms are seeking Five Star certifications from their counties to move from Red Level to Orange Level capacity restrictions, a program announced last week by CDPHE. Academy capacity in Red Level counties was cut last month from 25% to 10%, what industry officials called “unsustainable” for their businesses.

The Colorado Fitness Coalition, which was created in August to speak for the industry in one voice, said the state faces the loss of nearly 200 gyms, 22,000 jobs and $ 12 million in payroll taxes if the restrictions are not met. are eased soon. In a typical year, Colorado’s fitness industry generates $ 695 million, the coalition said.

RELATED: Colorado gyms say 10% capacity limits “are not survivable” for us

“The academies continue to fight at a dramatic pace and we are losing more and more academies,” said JoAnna Masloski, a member of the coalition’s advisory board and head of operations for the Colorado Athletic Club’s seven Front Range facilities. “We need to reach greater capacity to survive. We are not propagators. We are working as hard as we can to obtain this Five Star certification.

“But, anyway, we are not propagators and we are being punished, unlike shopping malls – uncontrolled environments, uncontrolled people walking and touching,” said Masloski. “They are not being punished and our academies are in trouble. We go to shopping malls and say, ‘My God, our business is about to die and you are not controlling it’. “

“We don’t want to harm any industry, we just want people to know that we are safe,” she said. “We are a controlled environment. It is now proven that this is the case. We need to increase our capacity. “

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