One Person in a Spin Class Triggered a COVID-19 Outbreak at a Cycling Studio—Even With Precautions in Place
The studio, called SPINCO, had established safety protocols upon reopening, including requiring guests to wear masks before and after class, screening clients and staff members, keeping records of everyone who attended a class, cleaning the studio after each class, and washing sweat towels, per CNN.
However, after one person infected with COVID-19—but not showing any symptoms of the virus—attended a class, many more positive cases followed. Specifically, 44 primary cases and 17 secondary cases were reported. Up to 100 people—including SPINCO employees, other clients, and family members of people who visited the studio—have now been exposed to the coronavirus as a result of that one asymptomatic visitor.
Public health officials said in a statement to CNN that the size of the outbreak was concerning, given the fact that Hamilton wasn’t previously considered a COVID-19 hotspot. Officials also pointed out that SPINCO had been following safety guidelines—which makes the outbreak all the more concerning.
The studio shared the details of the outbreak in a recent Instagram caption, which says: “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.”
Health previously reported that the reopening of gyms during the pandemic was risky, at best. “From a biologic and physiologic perspective, it’s a bad idea,” Gavis Harris, MD, an infectious disease physician and critical care medicine fellow at the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center previously told Health. He explained that since COVID-19 can spread through respiratory droplets and last on surfaces for multiple days, and given that gyms are enclosed spaces that would presumably be shared by multiple gym-goers at a time, “the risk of exposure is exceptionally high.”
The SPINCO studio closed as soon as the outbreak was identified and notified all those who had been exposed, the Instagram post says. “As of today, everyone who has tested positive, are well,” it adds.
The information in this story is accurate as of press time. However, as the situation surrounding COVID-19 continues to evolve, it's possible that some data have changed since publication. While Health is trying to keep our stories as up-to-date as possible, we also encourage readers to stay informed on news and recommendations for their own communities by using the CDC, WHO, and their local public health department as resources.
To get our top stories delivered to your inbox, sign up for the Healthy Living newsletter