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Coronavirus: The group you need to avoid when you go outside

Australians engaging in one activity on the short list of acceptable reasons to leave the house could unknowingly still be putting others in their community at risk of contracting coronavirus.

Dr Norman Swan, an Australian physician, told ABC podcast Coronacast on Tuesday the general public may want to stay away from joggers utilising public parks for their once-a-day exercise allowance.

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Since gyms were ordered to close and bootcamps were banned, more fitness fiends have taken to running to meet their daily exercise needs.

But Dr Swan said it’s possible the hordes of pavement pounders could be putting both themselves and fellow path users in danger, as their “secretions” could potentially contain the deadly virus.

Dr Norman Swan, pictured, said he steered clear of joggers when he was out. Source: ABC News
Dr Swan said he steered clear of other joggers when he was out exercising. Source: ABC News

He told the program that while it was not yet known if COVID-19 could be transmitted via sweat, it had been detected in stool samples, so it wasn’t completely out of the question.

“I think you have to assume that as you’re breathing up and breathing fast, if you’ve got the virus there, you’re more likely to be aerosolising it,” he said.

“When I’m out running, I steer clear of other people and I steer certainly steer clear of runners coming towards me.

“Because if they had COVID-19, they could actually be spraying it out a bit more than normal.”

Concerns have been shared to social media regarding the potential of runners to spread the virus in public spaces, with some complaining joggers rarely adhered to social distancing rules.

“What about all these joggers and runners all over the place? Their ‘exercise’ goes a long way beyond being essential, yet they act (and talk) as though they are exempt from coronavirus lockdown,” one wrote on Twitter.

“A reminder to those exercising outdoors. Please still distance yourselves from others,” another wrote.

Joggers could be spreading the virus with their 'secretions'. Source: Getty Images
Joggers could be spreading the virus with their 'secretions'. Source: Getty Images

“Hey runners! Stop running next to each other on narrow paths. It’s so selfish. Some dudes just came within six inches of me from behind on a path. I yelled ‘six feet!’ And they threw their arms up like ‘What?’, another said.

“Appeal to runners joggers. Enjoy your run, please do. But the 2 metre rule applies to you too. Passing me faster than a walker does not reduce the risk of infection. Keep your 2 metre distance please,” someone else said.

Current rules stipulate people can only leave their house for medical or compassionate reasons, to buy essential groceries, for work or education, or for exercise.

While in public, people must not stand closer than 1.5 metres and can only be outside with the people in their household or with one other person.

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