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A COVID-19 outbreak at a Hamilton Ontario spinning gym, Spinco, has been tied to 80 cases of the virus (50 primary and 30 secondary). While adhering to all provincial health and safety COVID-19 protocols, the outbreak occurred after someone with an undetected case of COVID-19 attended a spin class.
Spinco was conducting health screenings, required masks when indoors and not on the stationary bikes and had 2 meter social distancing of bikes in place. Once the class began, all bikers were allowed to take off their masks.
As we now know, COVID-19 particles are airborne and can travel significant distances. While the class was in session, this is when the virus must have been transmitted from one person to the other members of the class. The COVID-19 outbreak has forced the temporary closure of Spinco Hamilton as well as all other Spinco locations in Ontario.
This leads to the bigger question, should gyms remain open during the Coronavirus pandemic? Certain factors need to be taken into account when deciding on the answer. Where is the gym located? What type of physical activity is done at the gym? Can social distancing occur? Can gym-goers wear masks while being active?
The American gym industry is huge, worth over $37 billion. To close gyms for an extended period of time would have a catastrophic effect on the economy. Moreover, gyms provide significant mental and physical health benefits. This is especially needed during the ever-stressful COVID-19 pandemic. However, more safeguards need to be in place to make trips to the gym safer. This way, outbreaks like the one at Spinco Hamilton can be prevented.