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This gym trainer exposed 50 people to COVID-19. Here’s why no one got sick

A gym trainer exposed 50 athletes to COVID-19. But no one got sick because of a change the gym made

A room is set up for social distancing ready for a class at Life Time Beachwood, Thursday, Nov. 12, 2020, in Beachwood, Ohio.
A room is set up for social distancing ready for a class at Life Time Beachwood on Thursday, Nov. 12, 2020, in Beachwood, Ohio.
Tony Dejak, Associated Press

A gym trainer in Virginia may have exposed 50 athletes to the novel coronavirus during a recent training. But no one got sick.

  • Why? The gym took several precautions to increase airflow and ventilation.

What happened?

Velvet Minnick — owner and head coach at 460 Fitness in Blacksburg, Virginia — learned in September that one of her coaches had COVID-19. She contacted all the members of her gym who worked with the coach, and then talked with contract tracers, CNN reports.

No one was infected.

How it happened:

Minnick reopened her facility after it was closed in March because of the pandemic.

She consulted with Linsey Marr, a professor of civil and environmental engineering at Virginia Tech who had joined her gym, about airborne transmission and air quality, according to The Wall Street Journal.

  • “I knew the virus was transmitted mainly through the air so I thought it was really important to have good ventilation so everyone wasn’t able to breathe it,” Marr told CNN.

So the gym added athlete stations that give each person 10 feet of space. The stations have equipment inside so there’s no reason to head elsewhere, according to CNN.

Marr said the gym uses a carbon dioxide tracker to see how much virus might be in the air, CNN reports.

  • “Carbon dioxide is exhaled breath and is a good indicator of how much viruses might be building up in the air,” Marr said.

What’s next:

Multiple cities and states across the country worry that gyms may be closed down due to new coronavirus restrictions. Gyms have been considered an indoor location where the coronavirus is likely to spread.