SAN FRANCISCO, Calif. (KRON) — Are fitness gyms potential locations for COVID-19 super-spreader incidents?
A new report from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention suggests they can be if people are not following the rules.
55 COVID-19 cases were identified among 81 people who attended indoor high-intensity classes at a Chicago fitness gym late last summer, according to a new report from the CDC. 22 people with COVID-19 worked out in the same gym in the days that followed.
The report states most of the attendees were not wearing facial coverings.
Similar COVID-19 incidents occurred in three fitness gyms in Hawaii.
“The fact that a gym allowed participants to do a high-intensity work-out in a room indoors with around 6-feet of social distancing with no masks, what did they expect was going to happen?” Dave Karracker said.
The co-owner of MX3 Fitness in San Francisco Dave Karracker says this is what happens when the fitness industry does not have universally enforced COVID-19 health and safety standards.
“It’s frustrating to see that nationwide this hasn’t been mandated that people must wear masks,” Karracker said.
“I think it really points out to something that we have known for a long time. In that, crowded indoor environments are the highest risk of transmission of COVID-19,” Infectious Disease Specialist Stanford Dr. Dean Winslow said.
Dr. Winslow talked about the best way to prevent spreading COVID-19 when working out in the gym.
“It’s been a couple of studies showing that these pretty inexpensive surgical procedure masks do a fine job. Even cloth masks as long as they contain two or three layers do a good job,” Dr. Winslow said. “Recently there was some recommendation that people even consider wearing a cloth mask over top of a surgical mask.”
In addition, if you have the option of getting fit outdoors — even better.
“We had a great response to our outdoor gym,” Karracker said. “We have a big covered parklet and people have really been embracing it.”