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Gyms focus on hygiene measures to reassure members through Coronavirus crisis

Gyms focus on hygiene measures to reassure members through Coronavirus crisis
March 13, 2020

Fitness facilities are urging members to keep training during the current Coronavirus (COVID-19) crisis, adopting simple precautions, while emphasising how they are enhancing cleaning and hygiene regimes.

In an email sent this week, KX Pilates studios reassured clients that “there is no cause for alarm” but encouraged them to cover their nose and mouth when coughing and wash their hands thoroughly.

Explaining the communication, Zane Clarke, Area Coordinator for KX Pilates' Sydney studios, told the Sydney Morning Herald “we sent out the email to let everyone know we were aware of what was happening and not to let it affect their training.

“But it's been business as usual. It really hasn't affected us at all.”

Sydney’s Flow Athletic said they hoped that “everyone will stay calm, keep training and remain positive in how you go about your every day”.

Flow Athletic had advised members that they had “increased (their) cleaning scope” focusing on hand rails, doors and floors.

They asked clients to bring a towel, wipe down equipment and stay away if they weren’t feeling well “Coronavirus or not”.

Amid reports that gyms can be hot spots for bacteria and viruses, Associate Professor Sanjaya Senanayake, an infectious diseases specialist at Australian National University, said gyms were likely to be “low-risk for COVID-19”.

Associate Professor Senanayake told the Sydney Morning Herald “gyms can be a place where infections can be picked up, but particularly with this virus, most people are sick, even though it’s mild ... typically (with a) fever and a cough, and you would expect those people would not feel up to going to the gym.”

If someone with the virus did go to the gym and “coughed and spluttered over the equipment,” Associate Professor Senanayake said experts did know that Coronaviruses could survive on certain hard surfaces for days.

He added “so it is possible that someone could touch that surface and then touch their eye or their nose and get infected.”

Following Fitness First on Sydney’s George Street reportedly confirming that one of their members had the virus when they used the facility on 9th March, the gym issued a statement to its members asking them to keep a look out for any symptoms over the next two weeks.

The statement, reported by Sydney newspaper The Daily Telegraph advised “A person who was at George St Fitness First on 9 March approximately between 6am and 11am has recently been confirmed as having coronavirus (COVID-19) infection.

“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).”

A Fitness First Australia spokesperson confirmed that the gym, which remains open, was thoroughly disinfected in accordance with NSW Health Department guidelines.

The spokesperson advised “additional cleaning was undertaken as soon as the club was informed of the case in question by the NSW Health Department.

“The gym, equipment and public areas will continue to be thoroughly cleaned and disinfected in line with NSW Health Department recommendations.”

Across all its clubs, the spokesperson advised that the group was increasing the frequency of sanitisation and cleaning at their clubs, providing additional hand sanitisers, encouraging hygiene practices and asking staff to declare their travel status.

Fitness Australia Chief Executive, Barrie Elvish (picutred above) told Daily Mail Australia that “gyms need to instruct clients to use disinfectant wipes, be seen by clients to cleaning the equipment and put signs up encouraging people to wipe the equipment before they use it.”

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31st January 2020 - Coronavirus declared global health emergency by World Health Organization

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19th December 2019 - Fitness Australia and NPE to continue partnership that supports business owners

10th December 2019 - Fitness Australia names Sport Australia executive and Glen Eira Leisure manager as appointed Directors

4th March 2019 - ACCC penalises Fitness First for excessive surcharging on member payments

26th February 2019 - Exercisers face health risks if using gym towels to wipe down equipment

7th January 2019 - KX Pilates founder steps back with appointment of new Chief Executive

12th September 2018 - KX Pilates’ opens 50th franchise and first international studio

15th March 2018 - Fitness First announces new digital experiences to motivate members

27th April 2016 - Study finds free weights in gyms had 362 times more germs than the average toilet seat

23rd February 2016 - Fitness clubs face ongoing hygiene battle

24th July 2015 - Ezypay and new Sydney gym Flow Athletic win at 2015 Telstra NSW Business Awards

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