Cluster of COVID-19 cases at 2 Oahu gyms prompts Health Department warning

Cluster of COVID-19 cases at 2 Oahu gyms prompts Health Department warning

HONOLULU, Hawaii (HawaiiNewsNow) - Contact tracing by the state Health Department has uncovered a total of 17 cases to date involving two Oahu commercial gym facilities.

DOH says cases in both gyms are linked to one person who participated in exercise classes at both.

“By their very nature, gyms that operate in closed spaces with poor ventilation and without physical distancing can be breeding grounds for all kinds of infections, including coronavirus,” said state Epidemiologist Dr. Sarah Park.

“It is imperative that all gyms follow the safe practices required by state and county governments.”

Those include proper physical distancing in workout areas and in group classes, wearing of masks at all times, consistent and thorough disinfection of equipment and all surfaces.

Furthermore, she said, “It’s important for everyone to stay home if they are ill and not go to work or public areas.”

State Health Director Bruce Anderson added that exercise is good, but precautions must be taken.

“It is critically important that safe practices are followed and that the gym is well-ventilated. Individuals at a gym are often breathing hard while exercising, which puts them and those around them at increased risk.”

COVID-19 is transmitted from person-to-person through aerosols and droplets associated with breathing, coughing and sneezing.

“Perhaps most important is to stay home if you are feeling ill. Don’t try to sweat it out.” said Anderson.

Copyright 2020 Hawaii News Now. All rights reserved.