WASHINGTON (FOX 5 DC) - The founder and chief executive of Solidcore, a pilates-like boutique fitness studio, says D.C. studios will remain open despite an order from Mayor Muriel Bowser taking effect Wednesday that bans indoor group fitness.
Anne Mahlum included her intentions in a letter to Bowser, urging her to reconsider the decision that many in the fitness industry argue is not based on transmission data.
"This industry has gone above and beyond to try to keep people safe. Masks, distancing, cleaning. It's probably the cleanest place that you can go right now is a gym because of all the extra precaution that we're taking," Mahlum said.
DC Health has not provided specific data that demonstrates gyms or fitness centers are causing community spread of the coronavirus. They have presented contact-tracing information that shows small social gatherings, work and travel are likely exposure points for people who have recently tested positive.
The order also applies to dance classes, but allows traditional gyms to stay open.
The mayor's office did not make DC Health Director Dr. LaQuandra Nesbitt available for questions about the decision, but a spokesman said the city is asking all industries to dial back activities at a time when COVID-19 cases are surging.
The seven-day average of new daily cases have hit 25 per 100,000 people, approaching the record set May 5th, while a stay-at-home order was in place.
FOX 5 submitted a public records request for case cluster information from DC Health.
It is not clear what enforcement actions could be taken on Solidcore or any other group fitness studio if it does not stop indoor fitness classes Wednesday.
"I can keep people safe and I can make sure that I supply jobs for the hundreds of people that depend on Solidcore for a paycheck in the DC area," Mahlum said.
Mahlum says no community spread of the virus has been traced to Solidcore locations since the studios reopened.
Orangetheory Fitness Georgetown has posted on its Instagram account that it will remain open, but adjust classes to an open studio concept. It's also unclear if this complies with the mayor's order.