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DC Fitness Alliance Plea for Vaccine-Only Operation Rebuffed

DC Fitness Alliance Plea for Vaccine-Only Operation Rebuffed

Fitness collective DC Fitness Alliance’s attempt to have mask mandates waived for gyms and fitness studios in Washington D.C. was rebuffed by government officials in the city. The conglomerate of 16 gyms wrote a letter asking for permission to conduct business with vaccine only regulations, instead of requiring masks of staff and patrons.

Indoor mask mandates are becoming compulsory once again. Government officials in cities such as Philadelphia and San Francisco are requiring staff and patrons of businesses to either wear masks, undergo regular COVID-19 testing, and/or get fully vaccinated. In the world of fitness, this proved especially controversial, with 16-gym conglomerate DC Fitness Alliance at the center of a contentious situation.  

Club Solutions Magazine reports that the DC Fitness Alliance’s appeal to the city’s mayor for “permission to operate in a vaccine-only capacity and not impose a mask mandate” was rejected.

In early August, the DC Fitness Alliance wrote a letter to Mayor Muriel Bowser, outlining their reasons for vaccination-only regulations within gyms and fitness studios.

A section of the letter states that the group was “surprised” to see these facilities “mandated to require masks, rather than have the option of operating in a vaccine-only capacity.” 

The DC Fitness Alliance letter continues, “Our businesses are disproportionately impacted by mask mandates, as clients are put off by the idea of working out with a mask, potentially limited their ability to breathe easily while they do physical activity.”

The DC Fitness Alliance letter was signed by all 16 gyms incorporated within the organization, including Barry’s Bootcamp, Orangetheory Fitness, and VIDA Fitness, per WUSA9.

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VIDA Fitness President and Founder David Von Storch told the D.C.-based television station that the city’s mask mandate “is going to knock us out.” 

“The fitness industry has been uniquely hit and hit hard. Most bars and restaurants are well over 100% of where they were pre-pandemic. But gyms are not… We’ve had a lot of members say hey we want vaccination required to entry, here’s the challenge, if everybody’s not required to do it then that puts us at a competitive disadvantage. So, we want the mayor to require everybody to be vaccinated to enter into these places of assembly, and then it will work,” proclaimed Von Storch.

Despite the efforts by the DC Fitness Alliance, Washington D.C.’s mandatory indoor mask mandate was enforced by July 31. All individuals over the age of two, vaccinated or not, are required to wear a mask indoors. The mandate could stay effective until Thanksgiving, per NBC Washington, if an increase in vaccination numbers does not transpire. 

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