47 cases of COVID-19 now linked to SPINCO outbreak
Health officials reported 27 new cases in Hamilton on Sunday
Forty-seven cases of COVID-19 have now been linked to an outbreak at a Hamilton spin studio.
Public health reported 38 primary cases — 36 patrons and 2 staff — connected to SPINCO as of Sunday, along with nine secondary "household spread" cases.
It's nearly double the 24 cases that were connected to the studio Friday.
A spokesperson previously said public health had identified roughly 100 members who may have been exposed to the virus because of the SPINCO outbreak.
"We are very concerned by the number of cases that have resulted from this outbreak," stated Jacqueline Durlov at the time.
On Sunday she added that public health is encouraging "all impacted members, staff and their close contacts to continue isolating and/or monitoring for any symptoms of COVID-19."
In an Instagram post Saturday, SPINCO said COVID-19 first touched the studio on Sept. 28 and spread among "specific classes" until Oct. 5.
"[W]e are at the point where either we let this Pandemic own us, or we take ownership back," it reads. "We are determined to switch the script!"
The post adds that the studio will remain closed until it is safe reopen.
Ira Price, one of SPINCO's owners, said in an e-mail statement earlier in the week that health and safety are paramount, saying "Public Health has assured us that our screening process is beyond the current recommendations."
Dr. Elizabeth Richardson, Hamilton's medical officer of health, said a spin class causes people to breathe deeply and rapidly, suggesting it may have made the activity more high-risk.
"In this case, we've been working with this operator, they've been great ... We're continuing to look at why did it happen in this circumstance given that they were following the guidance that is there," she explained.
A total of 1,354 cases of COVID-19 were reported in Hamilton Sunday, an increase of 27 compared to the day before.
Of those, 146 are active, while 1,161 are recovered. Forty-seven people have died.
There is one other ongoing outbreak in the city after a staff member with Salvation Army Lawson Ministries Assisted Living tested positive.
Four new, positive cases of COVID-19 have been reported on Six Nations, brining the number of active cases in the community to seven — five lab-confirmed and two probable — as of Friday.
The most recent cases mean there have been 11 new cases on Six Nations territory since the end of September.
Officials with Ohsweken Public Health say contact tracing is underway, noting the spike in cases is "putting huge pressure" on the assessment centre and emergency response system.
"COVID-19 cases are rising in the community, same as the Province of Ontario reaching its highest rate of confirmed cases in one day. We must rethink gatherings with other households this long weekend," stated Elected Chief Mark Hill in a media release.
"As First Nations People we are clever to adapt when times get tough, this is one of those times, and we must fight this Pandemic together to protect our people."
The release goes on the describe any large meals planned for Thanksgiving as an "open road to a path filled with trouble that must be avoided" to protect family members and the wider community.