Chicago gym was the site of summer COVID-19 outbreak: CDC

Fifty-five people contracted the virus during a series of high-intensity classes.

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The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention headquarters.

A Chicago gym was the source of a coronavirus outbreak last summer that sickened 55 people, the CDC reported.


A Chicago gym was the site of a summer COVID-19 outbreak in which about two-thirds of participants in a series of high-intensity classes came down with the virus, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reported this week.

The outbreak sickened 55 people, including two who had to go to hospital emergency rooms, according to the report. The name and location of the gym are not mentioned in the report. The classes were held from Aug. 24 to Sept. 1.

No deaths were reported from the outbreak.

People contracted the virus even though masks, temperature checks and symptom screenings were required for anyone entering the gym. Capacity in the classes was limited to 25% and social distancing was stressed. But attendees were allowed to remove masks during the classes — and many did just that, according the interviews the Chicago Department of Public Health did during a routine investigation.

“Infrequent mask use when participating in indoor exercise classes likely contributed to transmission,” the report stated.

The report goes on to say: “The outbreak reinforces the need for combined COVID-19 prevention strategies, including universal mask use in public settings when persons are with others who do not live in the same household, especially indoors, testing of symptomatic and those who have been exposed to [the virus].”

The facility closed for 13 days and “informed all attendees for their possible COVID-19 exposure,” according to the report.

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