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As the coronavirus spreads, gyms halt the workouts

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Millions of Americans will have to work up a sweat at home as fitness clubs across the country shut their doors because of the coronavirus.

A number of gym chains moved this week to temporarily close nationwide in order to prevent more cases of COVID-19, the disease caused by coronavirus. Some facilities plan to re-open at the end of the month, while others don't have a timetable.

"The decision to close studios is not a decision we made lightly," Orangetheory CEO David Long said in a statement on Monday. "While we don't have all the answers, we are doing our best to balance providing the service you expect with the safety of our members and employees."

Orangetheory has more than 1 million members across its 1,000 worldwide locations. Long said membership fees will be suspended during the closure and that the fitness chain hopes to re-open March 31.

Gold's Gym, which has 3 million members and 700 locations, gave the same March 31 target date to reopen. Corporate-owned locations closed Tuesday and individuals franchisees were given leeway to decide whether to close. Gold's CEO said the closings were "not a business decision but a humanity decision."

"We want to protect our community and people of all ages by doing what we can to flatten the disease's curve," Gold's CEO Adam Zeitsiff said in a statement.

Gold's is giving members an app-based version of video workout tutorials while locations are closed.

Also closed are Blink Fitness, Crunch Fitness, LA Fitness, Life Time Fitness and 24 Hour Fitness. The five companies combined have about 1,750 U.S. locations and millions of members. YMCA locations are closing as well.

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Anytime Fitness and Curves have not announced company-wide closings. Franchise owners will decide whether to close, both companies said.

A gym goer in New Mexico tested positive after visiting Defined Fitness. The gym reportedly began using an electrostatic cleaning system to sanitize the location, and New Mexico public health officials have cleared the gym to re-open. A Life Time Fitness member near Houston also tested positive. Health officials are contacting other Life Time members who were in the gym at the same time as the infected person. 

In Maryland, an Equinox gym member tested positive after visiting a location in Bethesda earlier this month. An Equinox spokesperson said the location has been disinfected and that the member hasn't returned. 

"As we have been, we will continue to prioritize everyone's health and safety by taking all necessary precautionary measures and following the advice of public health officials," the spokesperson said in a statement. 

Equinox has now closed all of its locations but didn't say when the gyms will re-open. Soulcycle has also closed its gyms without giving a time frame, saying only that it will reopen "as soon as we feel it's safe."

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