The Spinco studio had just reopened in Hamilton, Ont., In July, and was following coronavirus safety regulations, Hamilton medical officer of health Elizabeth Richardson, MD, said in a statement to CNN. These included controlling staff and participants, tracking participants, masking before and after lessons, washing towels and cleaning rooms within 30 minutes of the end of a lesson. According to city officials, Spinco was also operating at half capacity and maintained a six-foot radius around each bike.
“We have taken all of the proposed public health measures, if not added a few, and the pandemic has hit us again,” the studio wrote on Instagram. The outbreak appears to be linked to classes held from September 28 to October 4, and Spinco Hamilton has been closed since the outbreak was identified. Of the confirmed positive cases associated with the studio, 47 are primary cases (45 clients and two staff) and 25 are secondary cases, indicating “outbreak spread” to family, friends or other contacts.
There have been concerns about indoor training classes that could help with coronavirus transmission, but it appears to be one of the biggest related outbreaks to date. Officials are particularly concerned because the facility was closely following health protocols. “We’re still looking at what that means, what we need to understand about exercise classes,” Dr. Richardson said at a press briefing Oct. 13, according to CNN.
Linsey Marr, PhD, an airborne transmission expert and engineering professor at Virginia Tech, noted on Twitter that the protocol did not seem to require effective ventilation in the studio – an increasingly critical factor given the potential for aerial spread of the virus. “Six feet is not enough,” she wrote. “The gym did health checkups, cleanings, masks before and after class, 50% capacity and 6 feet around each bike. NOTHING ABOUT VENTILATION. ”
According to the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation (CBC), a public health spokesperson said the scale of the outbreak, despite adherence to protocol, “will likely contribute to a change in guidelines and practices at to come up”.