As the country continues to adapt to the ever-present threat of the coronavirus pandemic, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention is taking a close look at gyms and the potential spread of COVID-19.
The CDC is warning people that they still need to cover their faces and practice social distancing when hitting the gym, ABC News reported.
The group looked at gyms in Chicago and Hawaii and saw a connection between the rate of infection and people working out.
Twenty-one people tested positive for COVID-19 after taking a cycling fitness class with an instructor who had the virus. The instructor taught for three days.
In Chicago, high-intensity fitness classes contributed to 55 people out of 81 becoming infected, the CDC said in a study it released this week, ABC News reported.
In both locations, CDC researchers found that participants did not wear masks during the classes.
In addition to the lack of mask mandates in the Hawaii cases, the location where the classes were held kept doors and windows closed.
While dozens of people tested positive for COVID-19, only two people in Hawaii and one person in Chicago were hospitalized. Two additional patients in Chicago went to an emergency room with symptoms, the CDC reported.
The CDC reminds gym operators that facilities need to have proper ventilation standards, lower capacity, enforcement of social distancing and mask-wearing, ABC News reported.
One infectious disease expert says that masks may not be enough to protect people from the risk of contracting the novel coronavirus.
“I personally would never join a group class in an enclosed space with poor ventilation,” Dr. Larry William Chang told the Times. “I think it’s just a recipe for disaster.”
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