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The team of legislative fiscal recovery strategists turned its focus on the survival of health and fitness clubs yesterday in what Senator Paul Sarlo characterized as an attempt to spur reopening of gyms, which have remained closed since the original lockdown order in March.

This morning, NJBIA added its voice to the eight scheduled witnesses who testified.

“While we recognize an uptick in our state’s rate of transmission and positivity tests, we know from looking at neighboring states such as Connecticut and Pennsylvania that health and fitness clubs are not responsible for spreading the virus and can reopen safely,” said NJBIA President and CEO Michele Siekerka. “In New Jersey, the data shows that social gatherings are the cause for our current spread.”

“National health data and surveys show that these facilities operating under appropriate guidelines, with good hygiene and social distancing measures saw no increase in COVID-19 transmission and have an occurrence rate of .0004%,” she said.

“The economic impact of this industry in New Jersey is significant, employing 53,000 in over 1,100 facilities,” she added. “Having now been closed for over five months and with no opening in sight, the economic impacts to these businesses, their workforce and the state’s economy cannot be understated.”

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