A coronavirus outbreak linked to a Candadian cycling studio has infected at least 69 people, despite the many safety protocols put in place at the studio.
Public health services in the city of Hamilton, located in Ontario, declared the outbreak on Oct. 5, according to a statement to Today. The coronavirus spread among staff and patrons at the studio, Spinco, between Sept. 28 and Oct. 4.
"We are very concerned with the number of positive cases, the size of this outbreak and the impact that it has had on our community," Hamilton’s Medical Officer of Health Dr. Elizabeth Richardson said in the statement.
Of the 69 cases recorded as of Wednesday, 46 were among people directly infected at Spinco and 23 were secondary cases. According to a post on their Instagram page, Spinco suspended classes as soon as the outbreak was identified.
View this post on Instagram
Dear SPINCO FAM! . It’s Thanksgiving, and we are thankful for you. . We love you and we miss you! When we started the journey to open a SPINCO franchise in Hamilton, we had a dream of building an inclusive space for everyone to exercise! . When we got the green light to reopen in July, like everyone we were hesitant, but we took all the measures public health offered, even added a few, and still the pandemic struck us again! . It started September 28 and spread amongst specific classes until October 5th. SPINCO Hamilton has been closed from the moment the outbreak was identified. . As of today, everyone who has tested positive, are well. Our team, along side Public Health has notified everyone. . We have been following all the procedures set in place by public health. We have been in constant contact with our riders and we will continue to do so, if not daily, then every few days, with updates. . In total we have been open three and a half months if you can believe it. It seems longer. It seems like we have been a community for as long as the city existed! Something even our wildest dreams couldn’t imagine!! In 3 months, an entire community was developed and began thriving. A world of inclusivity and diversity; empowering body positive humans! The change that each of you has brought to this city and to us can not be put in words! . So we are at a point, where either we let this Pandemic own us, or we take ownership back. . We are determined to switch the script! We can and we know the power of our community. . So while we wait and remain closed, you have our commitment, that we will not re-open until It is safe to do so, we need to show our city and the rest of our province that the SPINCO community is not going anywhere! We are strong, we are tough and we fight together.. . . . . . . .
The studio said that though they “were hesitant” to reopen in July, they “took all the measures public health offered” and “even added a few.”
The safety protocols included keeping bikes more than 6 feet apart, keeping the studio to less than 50% capacity and cleaning rooms within 30 minutes of a class ending. Participants were only required to wear masks until they clipped into their bikes and had to put them back on immediately after the class ended.
“We have been following all the procedures set in place by public health. We have been in constant contact with our riders and we will continue to do so, if not daily, then every few days, with updates,” Spinco’s statement on Instagram said.
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It continued, “So we are at a point, where either we let this Pandemic own us, or we take ownership back. We are determined to switch the script! We can and we know the power of our community. So while we wait and remain closed, you have our commitment, that we will not re-open until It is safe to do so, we need to show our city and the rest of our province that the SPINCO community is not going anywhere! We are strong, we are tough and we fight together.”
Though gyms and workout studios have reopened in many areas, it remains a source of controversy as to whether or not they are safe amid the pandemic.
“When you have a relatively high density of people exercising and sweating in a contained space, you have conditions where communicable diseases can spread easily,” Dr. James Voos, the head team physician for the Cleveland Browns, told The New York Times of gyms in August.
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