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Gyms working to combat potential spread of COVID-19

Wiping down equipment
A member of Kulak CrossFit wipes down a kettlebell after a workout.

POCATELLO, Idaho (KIFI/KIDK) - The CDC has reported more than 1,200 COVID-19 cases in the United States by Thursday evening.

42 states and Washington D.C. have confirmed coronavirus cases. Idaho isn't among them yet, but according to Southeastern Idaho Public Health, it doesn't mean the virus isn't here.

"There is that potential that there are people in our community who already have it and we don’t know," Tracy McCulloch, health promotion director for SIPH, said. "Because only way we are going to know is if someone gets tested."

Actions across the nation, from Broadway to Disneyland, are working to limit mass gatherings.

"Going to anywhere in our community, you can pick up the virus," McCulloch said. "So it’s hard to say if you got it at the gym or if you got it at work or if you got it at school or if you got it at the local grocery store or gas station."

Recently, gyms have been identified as potentially risky areas due to the potential of both direct and indirect transmission of the virus.

A message sent to Gold's Gym members on Thursday.

In an email sent to Gold’s Gym members Thursday, the fitness center said: “We are increasing the frequency of our cleaning efforts and providing extra quantities of cleaning products and sanitizer throughout the gym."

A similar policy has been taken up by Chubbuck’s Kulak CrossFit

“We’re just trying to really kinda enforce what’s always been our policy," Jamie Bell, owner of Kulak CrossFit, said. "Wipe down all equipment really well with sanitizing wipes and to use sanitizer or wash your hands, before - you know, right when you get to the gym - and then before you leave the gym."  

Bell said Kulak isn’t doing anything differently. The gym is just putting a heightened emphasis on pre-existing cleaning policies. The gym has also sent emails and posted signs asking any member exhibiting symptoms - such as fever, cough or shortness of breath - not to enter the building.

Bell said they’re just going to do what’s best for their members. 

"It might get to the point that we’d have to limit or screen people before they came in, I don’t know if we’d ever actually cancel class," she said. "We’ll just take it day by day and try to just keep the health and safety of our members as our top priority."

Southeastern Idaho Public Health is activating its coronavirus call center at 8 a.m. Friday morning. The center will be open from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday.

The call center can be reached at (208) 234 5875. Additional information can be found on SIPH's website.

Coronavirus Coverage / Health / Idaho / Life / Local News / Pocatello / Top Stories
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