San Diego County health officials said that an outbreak of coronavirus cases has been linked to a gym that remained open after it was ordered to shut down operations. The Pacific Beach gym was sent a letter on July 23 and told to close immediately, but continued its operations until July 27.
According to CNN, “The Gym” faces charges of a misdemeanor and a fine of $1,000 for its actions. County officials say that San Diego County has reported 28,287 COVID-19 cases and 552 deaths and emphasized they need to crack down on businesses that violate health and safety guidelines.
At least three people have tested positive for the novel coronavirus who were affiliated with the gym, according to the NBC affiliate in San Diego.
While the county wouldn’t confirm the exact total of how many people tested positive who were connected to The Gym, officials said that a community outbreak is defined as three or more people from different households who are linked to same source of infection.
The pandemic has taken its toll on gyms and fitness centers across the country. For example, 24 Hour Fitness filed for bankruptcy and closed 100 gyms, according to CNN.
Gyms have been placed on high-risk lists by infectious disease experts.
According to the HuffPost, Dr. Kelly Cawcutt, the associate director of infection control and assistant professor of infectious disease and critical care medicine at University of Nebraska Medical center, said she was concerned about crowded classes or gyms where the air flow is poor.
“Exercise increases the frequency and depth of breathing, so there is potential impact of increased aerosols at this time,” she told HuffPost. Aerosols are the small particles people exhale when breathe or talk that could contain the virus. “Masks would be ideal, but we also know those can be difficult to wear during exercise and may not be mandated.”
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