A group of Philadelphia gyms is urging the city to reverse its decision to close workout facilities amid the coronavirus pandemic.
The Philadelphia Fitness Coalition, which represents 30 exercise centers throughout the city, started a petition that has garnered nearly 3,800 signatures.
The group also made an appearance on Tuesday outside City Hall to challenge Democratic Mayor Jim Kenney, who shuttered gyms until January 2021, according to WCAU.
Boutique gym owners have joined forces launching the #PhiladelphiaFitnessCoalition. They are challenging @PhillyMayor recent #COVID19 closures saying there’s no data supporting spread of virus in gyms. Owners say they need relief and many won’t survive. More on @KYWNewsradio pic.twitter.com/9B0Z6ARnNj
— Cherri “Mask Up Please” Gregg 😷🙏🏾 (@cherrigregg) November 24, 2020
“As of November 20th 2020, the City of Philadelphia completely shut down all fitness facilities without showing valid transmission data or providing funds to keep our business afloat,” the group wrote.
“The mayor has cut off the #1 tool our community uses to maintain their mental and physical wellness. If this continues it will be a death blow to an already decimated industry, eliminating jobs and income for thousands of employees.”
The coalition cited data from member facilities that said their gyms and fitness studios had a “0% transmission rate” out of over 260,000 indoor visits from July to November.
The group seeks dialogue with local officials, wants gyms and other workout facilities to be named essential businesses and demands the immediate reopening of fitness centers, according to the petition.
The coalition also requests grant money to help offset the cost of remaining closed and seeks the passage of the the National Health and Fitness Recovery Act, which provides funds for their “failing” industry.
The Philadelphia Department of Health disagreed with the group’s assessment of the closures and continued to assert that fitness facilities are “high-risk settings for COVID-19 spread.”
“It is regrettable that places like gyms have had to stop indoor activities,” the department responded, according to Fox News.
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