Hamilton

Spinco's patient zero 'probably' caught COVID-19 at Toronto bar, province says

The first person to get COVID-19 and set off Hamilton's largest ongoing outbreak may have gotten the virus in Toronto according to provincial public health officials.

Hamilton public health did not confirm if Spinco's first case was linked to a Toronto bar

The COVID-19 case that caused an outbreak at Spinco Hamilton may have come from a Toronto bar, provincial health officials say. (Bobby Hristova/CBC)

The person who may have set off Hamilton's largest ongoing COVID-19 outbreak may have picked up the virus at a Toronto bar, according to provincial public health officials.

"The big outbreak with SpinCo in Hamilton, it began with someone who probably got infected at a bar in Toronto,"  Dr. Barbara Yaffe, Ontario's associate chief medical officer of health, told media on Monday.

Hamilton Public Health Services (HPHS) wouldn't confirm those details when asked about Yaffe's comment on Tuesday.

HPHS also didn't identify that possible connection when it shared a graphic of how the outbreak at the downtown spin studio spread throughout Hamilton.

There have been 54 primary cases (52 riders and two staff members) have been connected to the spin studio on James Street N., along with at least 31 secondary cases such as family, friends or other contacts who were exposed to people infected there.

The outbreak also impacted a number of businesses, including households, school and daycare centres, healthcare facilities and other workplaces (restaurants, gyms, retail stores, etc.).

Throughout the process, HPHS and the owners of Spinco Hamilton said all COVID-19 protocols were followed.

Spinco has since temporarily closed its spin studios in "affected" regions of Ontario and the province is reconsidering guidelines meant to stop the spread of the virus in fitness settings.

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