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West Virginia gym potentially exposed 205 to coronavirus, health officials say

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Health officials on Sunday warned at least 200 members of a West Virginia Planet Fitness to quarantine and monitor for coronavirus symptoms after a client at the gym tested positive for the virus.

The client was at the Morgantown establishment between 9 a.m. and 3 p.m. last Wednesday. There were about 205 people there during that window, according to a release by the Monongalia County Health Department (MCHD).

“They also should do their best to stay away from others in their household,” said Dr. Lee B. Smith, MCHD executive director, and county health officer. “Ways to do this would be to stay primarily in one area of the home and to wear a mask if you must be around others.”

Anyone potentially exposed to the infected person on that day should stay at home for two weeks, which would be until July 8, the department advised. Individuals who develop symptoms should contact their primary care provider and get tested while following the correct coronavirus protocol.

The Planet Fitness said on Facebook Sunday that they were closed for additional deep cleaning and would reopen on Tuesday. The gym added that: “all members and teammates undergo temperature checks upon entry and are answering the health screening questions provided by the CDC.”

Additional measures were taken by the Planet Fitness after reopening amid the coronavirus pandemic, which included contactless check-ins, thorough cleanings, adhering to social distancing practices, and “utilization of our HVAC systems to pull in fresh air to ensure high air quality,” according to the gym.

Due to the possibility that some patrons might not show COVID-19 symptoms — even if they are infected with the virus — health officials on Sunday advised residents to wear masks in public, wash hands thoroughly, and maintain a distance of six feet from others.

“These measures have proven to slow the spread of COVID-19,” Dr. Smith said. “If we want to continue to open up businesses and avoid the need to reverse some of the steps we have taken, people must take these precautions seriously.”

Guidelines under West Virginia Gov. Jim Justice’s reopening plan said that all fitness center employees and patrons must wear appropriate face coverings “to the greatest extent possible.”

Many states in the U.S. have seen a spike in coronavirus cases in recent weeks. West Virginia has seen an increase of about 400 cases in the past 10 days, compared to an increase of 240 in the 10 days prior, the department said.

As of Monday evening, the state has seen more than 2,870 confirmed cases and at least 93 deaths from the virus, according to data from Johns Hopkins University.

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