New York gyms and fitness centers suffered another blow on Thursday when Governor Andrew Cuomo told reporters that gyms would remain closed indefinitely, labeling them a "dangerous activity." The announcement from Governor Cuomo comes nearly a month after New York gyms filed a class-action lawsuit against the state after Cuomo removed them from Phase 4 of the reopening plan.
“We deserve the opportunity to open up under the CDC guidelines set forth," said SC Fitness owner Charlie Cassara last month during a Fox & Friends interview. Cassara is leading the lawsuit for the New York Gyms.
In his comments on Thursday, Governor Cuomo stated, “Gyms have been a nationally identified source of infections. We know from the other states they’ve been highly problematic.”
First, it's important to rightfully point out Cuomo's success and leadership in helping New York navigate the crisis early on, and even providing somewhat of a blueprint for other states to follow. But this latest move is problematic. Gyms and fitness centers at this point seem to be arbitrarily singled out. Gyms and fitness centers seem to be no more susceptible to infections than any other businesses that are open and operating. With proper capacity reductions, mandatory mask-wearing, enhanced cleaning procedures, social distancing, and updated HVACs, gyms and fitness centers should be given the opportunity to resume businesses responsibly. If they break the guidelines, they can be fined like every other business.
We will continue to monitor the situation with New York gyms as news becomes available.