A bicycle studio in Canada is the source of a major coronavirus outbreak that is spreading to at least 69 people – although the studio has reportedly followed all safety protocols. A single customer at SPINCO, a bicycle studio in Hamilton, Ontario, has spread the coronavirus to at least 68 other people and exposed up to 100 people to the virus in total, according to reports from CNN and CBC. These alarmingly high numbers exist despite the fact that by the time the studio appeared to have met all of the security requirements for its area. In a statement to CNN, Hamilton Medical Health Officer Elizabeth Richardson, MD, MSc confirmed that the studio screened staff and attendees for symptoms, required masks before and after classes, washed towels, and used the gym within 30 minutes of class cleaned end.
Forty-six of the infections were primary cases ̵
The area has otherwise not seen a significant outbreak of COVID-19, making this transmission particularly worrying, health officials told CNN.
It also raises questions about the safety of gyms and other indoor spaces as we venture into the colder months. Anthony Fauci, MD, director of the National Institute for Allergies and Infectious Diseases, said months ago that gyms, bars and restaurants were some of the riskiest places to go during this pandemic, SELF previously reported. That’s because in all three rooms, people are usually indoors and likely to take off their masks. That was true at SPINCO, where masks were only needed on arrival and departure.
While the motorcycles at SPINCO were six feet apart, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) confirmed earlier this month that the virus can, under certain circumstances, be spread more than six feet through airborne transmission. “These transmissions took place in closed rooms with insufficient ventilation. Sometimes the infected person breathed heavily, for example when singing or exercising, ”says the CDC. You know how in a bike class.
Worse, the CDC recognizes that infection is possible in these scenarios after the person with COVID-19 leaves the room. “Under these circumstances, scientists believe that the amount of infectious diseases is less [droplets] and particles produced by people with COVID-19 became concentrated enough to spread the virus to other people. The infected people were in the same room at the same time or shortly after the person with COVID-19 left. “
There are many questions about how (and even if) gyms can be opened safely amid the coronavirus pandemic. This latest outbreak makes it clear what experts have already emphasized: Until we get this virus under control, there is always some risk of meeting people indoors with whom you do not live together, especially without masks, and even if you are try keep your distance.
“It’s a very big outbreak,” said Dr. Richardson according to the CBC. “We keep looking at what that means. What do we need to understand about exercise classes … about control measures.”
The best and safest options when it comes to sports? All we’re going to say isn’t ideal if you benefit from in-person group lessons, but it does reflect where we are (and where we aren’t) when it comes to fighting this virus. For the time being, stick to home exercises and online training courses. Maybe you look into equipment like a stationary bike. Or, find out how to bundle up for the winter and go outside while still keeping your distance from others and wearing a mask. Wearing a mask while exercising may feel uncomfortable, but the state of the pandemic means that exercising in public is a good idea. To make it easier, here are 16 of the best masks to wear while running, as well as information on how to exercise safely while wearing a mask.