A new CDC case study suggests gyms and fitness centers could easily become COVID super-spreaders.
In a time of social distancing and wearing masks, going to the gym can seem to have more risks than benefits.
Dr. Dean Winslow, an infectious disease expert at Stanford University, says, “Crowded indoor environments are the highest risk really for transmission of COVID-19.”
But what precautions are local fitness centers taking to stop the spread? Amber Bernhardt of Family Wellness in Mandan says, “Just try and keep everyone spaced out and clean.”
It may seem obvious, but in a small crowded environment, it can be easier said than done.
Jenna Bernhardt, the healthy living director at Family Wellness, says, “People still want to be physically active so becoming creative is really important.”
So how creative can you get in this very fluid situation? Amber says they came up with several creative ideas to keep their members safe. She says they even loaned out some of their equipment to some of the members during the shutdown so that they can do some more of the intensive classes.
As restrictions are being lifted, more and more members are returning to the gym. This means more cleaning for the staff.
Amber says the staff has cleaned about four times as much as they have pre-pandemic. Jenna says it helps those that are the most at risk.
She says, “I run a cancer survivor program and these candidates and participants feel very comfortable coming in because of the cleanliness of the facility.”
Ken Howard, a member at Family Wellness, shares his thoughts as well. He said, “I felt comfortable here even from the get-go coming back.”
Amber said, “I think when you take the proper mitigation strategies, you can operate as safely as you’re able to and invite people into your facility to continue to do the things that they love to do.”
Jenna says there are still fitness classes going on, but that social distancing measures are still in place.