Peloton studio employee has coronavirus; live streaming workouts suspended

The fitness company will continue offering pre-recorded programs

Peloton will temporarily stop streaming its live fitness classes after announcing an employee tested positive for the novel coronavirus.

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The at-home fitness company, which streams workouts for its stationary bikes, treadmills and through its app for people using their own equipment, will suspend live class through the month of April, the company's co-founder and CEO John Foley wrote to members in a blog post-Monday. The company will continue offering pre-recorded workout content on demand.

Peloton canceled its live classes for the rest of April.

“We have also decided to pause live production at both our New York and London studios through Thursday, April 30th. In the interim, we will continue to monitor the situation as it evolves,” Foley wrote. “In addition to the thousands of classes across 10 fitness disciplines available on-demand, we’ll continue to add new, pre-recorded content.”

While New York ordered nonessential businesses to close last month, Peloton continued broadcasting its live classes through the end of last week because it had received approval to operate as an essential business.

The suspended livestreaming workouts come after Peloton said it would stop delivering its treadmills temporarily during the coronavirus quarantine because the machine is too big to deliver and assemble while maintaining social distancing with customers.

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While Peloton has gained a cult-like following for its live workouts that help subscribers feel connected to fellow exercisers in real time despite being remote, Peloton faced backlash on Facebook recently for its decision to continue pedaling its live workouts. Members suggested the fitness company cancel classes to keep their beloved instructors healthy and safe.

More Americans have been relying on at-home fitness streaming programs with gyms closed during the COVID-19 pandemic. Streaming platforms like Obé Fitness, which streams live workouts and more than 4,000 classes like strength training, cardio and yoga, said it’s had 10 times more members sign up at the end of March compared to earlier in the month as more employees are mandated to work from home. The service streams workouts daily and has continued its live classes.

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And SoulCycle, a boutique spin studio owned by Equinox, debuted its Variis stationary bike for at-home streaming in March to compete with the likes of Peloton and FlyWheel and has also continued live workouts.

Similarly, ClassPass, a subscription service that allows users to access 30,000 different fitness studios and gyms globally, starting letting members stream workouts through their fitness partners for up to $20 each. 

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CORRECTION: A Peloton studio team employee was infected with the novel coronavirus. An earlier version included a headline that incorrectly identified the employee's position.