DC Gyms Call for Maskless Workouts for Vaccinated Members


A coalition of DC fitness companies is calling on the district to make an exception for vaccinated members to wear masks during training.

A coalition of DC fitness companies is calling on the district to make an exception for vaccinated members to wear masks during training.

The DC Fitness Alliance, formed last year, recently approached DC executives with an offer that echoed policies adopted in other places, including New York City, “allowing us to move to a vaccine-only format, but allowing our customers in this format to remove their masks, ”said Bryan Myers, President of Solid Core.

“We want to get people vaccinated,” said David Von Storch, president of Vida Fitness.

“If you have two strategies: Strategy A, masks everywhere, please get vaccinated. Strategy B, you need to be vaccinated to go to a bar, restaurant, gym, we think we’ll be more successful in getting more people vaccinated with plan B – and there has to be an incentive for people to get vaccinated. “

He added: “This incentive, of course, is not to have to wear a mask.”

The return of DC’s mask warrant is the result of the growing community spread of the delta variant of COVID-19. The DC Fitness Alliance said it understands why the district has taken the action it has taken, but points out that “we haven’t had a single super-prevalent event in a gym or studio, period. “said Van Storch.

He said gyms and fitness studios have taken important steps to improve ventilation and filtration, but haven’t seen the rebound the restaurant and bar industry has seen in customers.

“We’re an industry that hasn’t really received the support that other industries have had,” Van Storch said.

“And what’s really frustrating for us is that we are, of all industries, the industry that is most closely tied to health and overcoming the pandemic. “

He argues that it is in the district’s best interests – from a health and safety standpoint – to strive to keep “the gyms open, to keep the studios open, and to keep people energized and engaged. in these facilities to stay healthy ”.

“It’s not our opinion,” Myers said. “The city actually released data last fall based on its contact tracing efforts on where the spread came from, and you haven’t seen any gyms and fitness facilities near the top of. this list. … In fact, we are basing this conversation on the facts as we know them and as the data provided by the city has shown.

The OMCP contacted DC health officials for their response and received a July 27 statement from DC health director Dr LaQuandra Nesbitt touting the effectiveness of masks worn indoors.

While Von Storch acknowledged that DC was not rejecting DCFA’s appeals, he said he walked away from a meeting with health officials without really expecting the situation to change anytime soon.

Meanwhile, Myers seemed a little more optimistic.

“I think they were receptive to our situation but also steadfast in their conservatism, at least at this point to protect the spread of the community… the only way they know for sure is the masks.”

Myers said that while he agreed with Von Storch that a pilot program based on proof of vaccination also didn’t seem to be on the horizon either: “It didn’t seem to be completely either. excluded for the future. “


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