Orangetheory Fitness Studios of Illinois completes over 100,000 workouts with no cases of COVID-19 transmission as City of Chicago tightens restrictions
The Chicago Department of Public Health (CDPH) and the Department of Business Affairs and Consumer Protection (BACP) announced a "re-tightening" of COVID-19 restrictions last week, reducing group fitness classes to a maximum of 10 participants. In response, Brad Ehrlich, owner and Chief Executive Officer of Orangetheory« Fitness Illinois, would like to better understand the CDPH and the BACP data behind the new restrictions that are targeted specifically to group fitness settings.
"Orangetheory is one of the largest operators of group fitness programs in Illinois with 60 open locations. Since reopening on June 29th, we have collectively run over 147,000 workouts in the state of Illinois with over 33,000 workouts in the City of Chicago without a single known case of COVID-19 starting or transmitting in our studios," stated Ehrlich. "The already existing limited 25% capacity, 6' physical distancing, mask usage, cleaning procedures, temperature checks and pre-screening before entering the studio are working to prevent spread."
"We have always taken a preventative approach in managing the health, safety and wellness of our employees and members -- they are like family," said Ehrlich. "This outcome of keeping members safe mirrors the same successful outcomes in the other 900 Orangetheory studios in operation throughout the country as of today, including studios in hotspots like Texas and Florida.
"Fitness studios are well suited to create a safe experience during group fitness classes due to their structured class environment, safety/disinfection practices and ventilation standards" concluded Ehrlich. "Our unique structure, combined with our adherence to social distancing and safety guidelines, has kept our staff and our members safe."
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"We want to reassure our members that we re-opened our studio almost one month ago with an abundance of caution and with a high level of attention and care around safety, and we will continue to do so," said Ziggy Okninski owner/operator of Orangetheory Fitness Kildeer.
Below are some of the specific steps Orangetheory Fitness is taking nationally, and in its community studios, to ensure the health and safety of members and staff:
- Class capacity and equipment placement in the studio follows at least 6 feet of physical distancing at all times.
- Class schedules have been modified to allow for cleaning and disinfection that aligns with CDC recommendations. All equipment is cleaned and sanitized after every class.
- Before entering the studio, members are screened and temperatures are taken.
- Members wear masks to the studio, in the lobby and during transition between equipment in the studio to prevent the spread of respiratory droplets.
- All staff members wear masks at all times in the studio
- Hand sanitation stations have been placed throughout the studio.
- Members are assigned to equipment stations and the flow of members during class are under the strict direction of our coaches.
- Orangetheory Fitness studios have air ventilation systems that adhere to the ASHRAE Standard 62.1 act that requires fitness centers to circulate fresh air at the rate of 20 cubic feet per minute (CFM). In contrast, offices are required to circulate fresh air at the rate of 5 CFM and restaurants are required to circulate fresh air at the rate of 7.5 CFM. We believe that fitness centers are some of the safest indoor spaces when it comes to air quality.
"We understand the responsibility we have to our community," said Okninski. "With our pre-scheduled workouts, reduced class sizes, equipment placement, disinfection practices, safety protocols and ventilation standards, we feel confident that we can continue to provide an engaging and safe workout experience for our members without further limitations put on group fitness."