A Letter from the CEO
Wednesday, January 26, 2022

The Center for Health and Fitness held its annual Open House January 8. Subsequently, emails have been sent to the Board and comments have been posted on social media arguing that Beach Cities Health District should not have held the event during the recent surge in cases of the COVID-19 Omicron variant.

Here is some background information for you regarding the CHF Open House:
- The Open House was conducted in accordance with health guidance from the Los Angeles County Department of Public Health, including:

  • Proof of COVID-19 vaccination was required of all guests
  • Temperature checks were conducted on all guests
  • Face masks were required of guests and surgical masks were worn by all staff members (see below)
  • Physical distancing was practiced throughout the event
  • Hand sanitizer was available at numerous locations inside the Center for Health & Fitness
  • Windows were open inside the facility in order to improve air circulation
  • Air purifiers were in use in both locker rooms and the massage room at CHF

- Attendance was expected to be less than 50 people at the Open House, which ran from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m.
- On January 3, BCHD informed its employees that, due to new guidance from Public Health, all employees must wear a surgical mask while at work. BCHD has made KN95 masks available for staff at all front desks, including the Center for Health & Fitness.

One comment claims that CHF’s Open House ignored Public Health’s guidance by holding this event, and posted a story from the Los Angeles Times as proof. What the commenter left out was that the story (“L.A. County urges residents to postpone nonessential gatherings, activities as Omicron surges”) was written January 11, three days AFTER the CHF Open House. The story also included this: “The recommendation is voluntary and officials have not imposed any new restrictions that would force the cancellation of any events.”

BCHD and CHF have managed to operate and provide health and fitness services to the community during this pandemic while navigating health guidance, protocols and health officer orders issued by the County. By following this guidance, CHF has remained open, much like thousands of other businesses in Los Angeles County have continued their work, including restaurants, shopping centers, service providers and more.

Please let me know if you have any questions regarding this event and our ongoing adherence to health guidance from the County.

In Health,

Tom Bakaly
Chief Executive Officer
Beach Cities Health District