Hamilton

14 COVID-19 cases now linked to outbreak at Hamilton spin studio

There are now 14 people linked to a COVID-19 outbreak at SPINCO, a full-body spin studio on James Street North.

Public health says SPINCO followed all public health guidelines, no word on if city will add more restrictions

SpinCo in Hamilton is the site of the city's most recent COVID-19 outbreak. As of Thursday, seven positive cases were linked to the spin studio. (Rebecca Kawamura/Google Maps)

There are now 14 people with COVID-19 linked to an outbreak at SPINCO, a full-body spin studio on James Street North.

That's 11 more people than the previous day.

Dr. Elizabeth Richardson, Hamilton's medical officer of health, told media on Thursday that of the 14 cases, one is a staff member, 10 are patrons and three are considered secondary "household spread cases."

The three, secondary cases mean someone who was at SPINCO went home and infected people they live with. Two households are involved.

A spin class requires more aerobics and breathing, which Richardson suggested could have also made this 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.

"We know this is a higher risk activity overall because people there are breathing more deeply, breathing more rapidly, masks are allowed to be off while they're exercising, we're looking at all those things trying to understand the core issues and whether there needs to be more guidance consultation."

There's no word yet on if the city will add more restrictions to businesses or fitness centres.

Dr. Ira Price, the studio's owner, said in an e-mail statement health and safety are paramount to them.

"Public Health has assured us that our screening process is beyond the current recommendations," the email said.

"Contact tracing is now complete and all riders in our community have been contacted as well as those from a small group who could have been exposed by the outside source."

A schedule on the studio's website shows all classes until Oct 18 are currently cancelled.

Richardson emphasized that people should stay home if they feel sick or are waiting on results. She also said if people aren't wearing masks while they exercise, they should maintain two metres of distance. Staying outdoors may also help.

"Things where people are in a smaller, enclosed space, that's where exercise classes in a confined room are an issue ... but it all depends on how people carry themselves," she said.

SPINCO opened its Hamilton location in January.

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