SPINCO, in Hamilton, Ontario, just reopened in July and had all of the right protocols in place, including screening of staff and attendees, tracking all those in attendance at each class, masking before and after classes, laundering towels and cleaning the rooms within 30 minutes of a complete class, said Dr. Elizabeth Richardson, Hamilton’s medical officer of health, in a statement.
Public health officials are very concerned about the number of cases and the size of the outbreak, especially because the city is not currently a hotspot and the facility was not ignoring health protocols, they said in a statement to CNN.
“They have also supported public health services in our investigation by sharing the messaging with all their members,” said Richardson.
There are currently 44 confirmed positive primary cases associated with SPINCO and 17 confirmed secondary cases. Exposure was linked to several classes held from September 28 to October 4.
The studio’s co-owners, Naz Zarezadegan and Ira Price, told The Hamilton Spectator on Monday that public health officials told them “patient zero displayed no symptoms.”
SPINCO exclaimed in frustration, “We took all the measures public health offered, even added a few, and still the pandemic struck us again!'”
SPINCO said it will stay closed pending further investigation by health officials.
City officials say SPINCO was operating at 50% capacity, with a 6-foot radius around each bike, and that this might raise questions about the safety of gyms and fitness studios during the pandemic.
“We continue to look at what does it mean, what do we need to understand about exercises classes,” Richardson said in a media briefing Tuesday.
Canada is reckoning with a second wave of the coronavirus which has been marked by a doubling of new, daily positive cases of Covid-19 within the past month. Targeted restrictions and closures are in place in many urban centers including Toronto and Montreal, but not in Hamilton.