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Hamilton cycling studio COVID-19 outbreak could mean tighter gym restrictions

Last Updated Oct 14, 2020 at 4:24 pm EDT

FILE - This 2020 electron microscope image provided by the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases - Rocky Mountain Laboratories shows SARS-CoV-2 virus particles which causes COVID-19, isolated from a patient in the U.S., emerging from the surface of cells cultured in a lab. On Monday, Oct. 5, 2020, the top U.S. public health agency said that coronavirus can spread greater distances through the air than 6 feet, particularly in poorly ventilated and enclosed spaces. But agency officials continued to say such spread is uncommon, and current social distancing guidelines still make sense. (NIAID-RML via AP)

Ontario’s associate medical officer of health says the province is considering changing the safety protocols surrounding gyms in light of a COVID-19 outbreak linked to a cycling studio.

Dr. Barbara Yaffe says the outbreak at SPINCO in Hamilton is concerning.

She says the facility followed all public health guidelines but there are still a large number of cases tied to the location.

Hamilton’s public health unit reported 46 confirmed primary cases associated with SPINCO today.

That’s an increase of two from the previous day’s report.

A spokeswoman for the public health unit says there are also 23 confirmed secondary cases for a total of 69 cases linked to the outbreak.

Yaffe said the SPINCO outbreak has led to reconsideration of advice around fitness centres.

“Even though they followed guidelines there was obviously significant transmission so I think we do need to review the guidelines and that’s in process,” she said during a news conference on Wednesday afternoon.

The SPINCO outbreak was declared by the public health unit on Oct. 5. The secondary cases are related to exposure to SPINCO members who have tested positive with COVID-19.

The gym said in an online statement that it has been following up with affected members.

“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,” it wrote on its Instagram account.