Busy city gym issues coronavirus warning to members

Nadine Carroll
·3-min read

A Sydney gym has warned members they may be at risk of coronavirus after NSW Health confirmed a person infected attended one of its busiest central locations.

Fitness First announced on March 13 an individual who was at its George Street club on March 9 between the hours of 6am and 11am was confirmed as testing positive for coronavirus.

The club told Yahoo News Australia once NSW Health contacted the club, it “immediately disseminated information direct from the Government Health Department to all George Street club members who would have visited the club between those hours”.

The email sent identified members that had attended the club around the same time as potentially at risk of being in contact with the infected person.

“You have been identified as a casual contact and we advise that you monitor your health until 24 March 2020 (14 days after exposure to the infectious person),” the email read, along with a list of coronavirus symptoms to monitor.

Fitness First George Street location in Sydney
Fitness First confirmed that a person who tested positive for COVID-19 visited the George Street location in Sydney. Source: Google Maps

A Fitness First spokesperson told Yahoo News that the George Street location, which remains open, had undergone a thorough clean “above and beyond the regular and thorough cleaning and sanitation implemented in clubs daily”.

“Since being made aware of the individual’s visit, all equipment and surfaces they could have come into contact with were thoroughly disinfected with hospital grade products, in addition to surrounding areas and equipment,” the spokesperson said.

“This is in addition to the scaled-up cleaning efforts that have been ongoing across all Fitness First gyms for the past few weeks.”

Gyms can be a high-risk area for the spread of germs because of the several high-touch areas of equipment.

The World Health Organisation cautioned COVID-19 is spread person-to-person and by touching objects which have been contaminated by an infected person.

Fitness First Gym Sydney George Street
Gyms include many high-touch areas. Source: Google Maps

“The disease can spread from person-to-person through small droplets from the nose or mouth which are spread when a person with COVID-19 coughs or exhales,” WHO says.

“These droplets land on objects and surfaces around the person. Other people then catch COVID-19 by touching these objects or surfaces, then touching their eyes, nose or mouth.

“People can also catch COVID-19 if they breathe in droplets from a person with COVID-19 who coughs out or exhales droplets.”

As of Sunday, NSW currently has the highest number of COVID-19 in Australia, with 134 people confirmed to have contracted it.

On Sunday NSW Health reported there had been 22 new cases diagnosed in the 24 hours from 11am March 14.

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