Coronavirus: Prevention & Best Practices @ The Gym

There is currently an outbreak of a coronavirus disease, called COVID-19, affecting over 100 countries and territories. This article provides information on coronavirus and how your club can help keep members and staff safe and informed.

What is Coronavirus?

Coronavirus is a common virus around the world. There are currently seven known strains of the virus that infect people, four of which typically cause mild to moderate upper-respiratory illness (similar to a common cold). More recent strains, Middle Eastern Respiratory Syndrome (MERS-CoV) and Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS-CoV) cause more severe illness.

The current outbreak is SARS-CoV2, which causes Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19).

How Is Coronavirus Spread?

Coronavirus spreads person-to-person via respiratory droplets when an infected person coughs, sneezes, or exhales. These droplets land on surfaces, and the disease is spread when a person touches an infected surface and then touches their eyes, nose, or mouth.

Evidence suggests the virus can live on surfaces for several hours to a several days, depending on factors like the type of surface and temperature. The droplets can also be inhaled, which is why the WHO recommends staying at least three feet (one meter) away from persons who are sick or coughing. This is similar to how influenza and common colds are spread. Current research suggests the virus is not spread through the air.

Some coronavirus strains may be more contagious than others. It appears most cases of COVID-19 are spread between close contacts like family members.

Coronavirus hand on gym equipment column

How Can You Prevent the Spread of Coronavirus?

There is currently no vaccine for COVID-19. Both the WHO and CDC recommend taking common precautions to prevent respiratory illness, including:

  • Regular hand washing with soap (for at least 20 seconds) or alcohol-based solution (at least 60% alcohol),
  • Covering coughing or sneezing with a tissue or elbow (not your hand),
  • Avoiding touching of eyes, nose, or mouth with unwashed hands,
  • Limiting contact with people who are sick, and staying home if you are sick.

The CDC also recommends cleaning and disinfecting frequently touched objects.

Health authorities do not recommend wearing masks at this time, unless you are a healthcare provider, infected with COVID-19, or caring for an infected person.

While some people may be (understandably) nervous, health authorities recommend people continue normal preventive measures, which include staying current on vaccines, eating a healthful diet, and exercising regularly. Unless social distancing measures (those that require avoiding crowded places, such as school closures or restrictions on public gatherings) are implemented, getting a workout in your gym is healthy and safe. Fortunately for us, Coronavirus is not transmissible via sweat.

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