Tags: Coronavirus | gym | ventilation system | coronavirus

Gym's Ventilation System Credited With Preventing COVID-19 Infections

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By    |   Thursday, 19 November 2020 02:39 PM

A gym in Virginia almost had a COVID-19 crisis on its hands when a coach who had the virus encountered 50 athletes at the facility. Thanks to a gym member who happened to be an expert in airborne transmission, the owner of the gym avoided an outbreak by improving ventilation.

According to CNN, Velvet Minnick, the owner and head coach of 460 Fitness in Blacksburg, Virginia, consulted with member Linsey Marr, who is an award-winning professor of Civil and Environmental Engineering at Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University. Together, they revised the layout and ventilation of the gym in June when Minnick was permitted to reopen her facility.

“I knew the virus was mainly transmitted by air, so I thought it was really important to have good ventilation, so everyone wasn’t able to breathe it,” Marr told CNN. As a result, Minnick created stations near bay doors with 10 feet of space between them. Each station is marked with orange tape and has its own sets of equipment so no weights are shared.

“Ten feet of space has always been my mantra,” said Marr, adding that the 6-foot rule isn’t sufficient in a gym where people are breathing heavily. Marr calculated how much ventilation could be improved by opening doors to reduce the risk of transmission. The gym uses a carbon dioxide monitor to check indoor levels. Minnick and Marr found that even with cooler weather and the doors slightly closed, the combination of separate stations and good ventilation has kept the gym free of COVID-19 cases.

In September, Minnick learned that one of her coaches had the virus and immediately contacted the 50 athletes he recently coached. Not one of them developed the disease, according to CNN.

 According to The Wall Street Journal, improving ventilation in businesses can reduce the risk of viral transmission. Experts recommend changing the air four to six times an hour by introducing more outside air and enhancing filtration.

Gyms should limit the number of members in the gym itself and particularly those who participate in group classes. They may also institute temperature checks, said experts, and institute a policy that anyone who is ill cannot come in, according to Self.

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A gym in Virginia almost had a COVID-19 crisis on its hands when a coach who had the virus encountered 50 athletes at the facility. Thanks to a gym member who happened to be an expert in airborne...
gym, ventilation system, coronavirus
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2020-39-19
Thursday, 19 November 2020 02:39 PM
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