Coronavirus

San Diego gym that defied a shutdown order linked to a coronavirus outbreak

Healthcare workers place a nasal swab from a patient into a tube for testing at the Brightpoint Health and UJA-Federation of New York free pop-up coronavirus (COVID-19) testing site on May 8, 2020 in the Brooklyn borough of New York City. - The US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) on May 8, 2020 approved the first diagnostic test for coronavirus using saliva samples collected at home. (Photo by Angela Weiss / AFP) (Photo by ANGELA WEISS/AFP via Getty Images)

  (CNN) — A San Diego gym that was shut down after operating in defiance of a county health order to close last week is now linked to an outbreak of coronavirus.

It isn’t clear how many cases have been linked to “The Gym” in California, but county health officials say an outbreak is considered three or more cases from different households stemming from a specific location.

“The Gym” did not immediately respond to a CNN request for comment.

San Diego County has reported a total of 28,287 Covid-19 cases and 552 deaths, while the state of California has the highest number of total cases in the country at 492,934, according to data from Johns Hopkins University.

The Pacific Beach gym remained open despite an order to close indoor operations to prevent the spread of the virus. The business was sent a letter July 23 and told to close immediately, but it didn’t shut until days later on July 27, county health officials say.

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According to San Diego Health Officer Wilma Wooten, any business or entity that violates the order faces a misdemeanor and a fine of $1,000.

County officials say they need to step up contact tracing efforts and crack down on egregious violators. They’ve issued multiple letters to local businesses, including gyms and restaurants.

Fitness centers have struggled with how to keep clients safe while working out indoors.

After the pandemic shut down gyms across the country, 24 Hour Fitness filed for bankruptcy and closed 100 gyms. Last month, more than 200 attendees of a West Virginia Planet Fitness were urged to quarantine after a client tested positive.

“We will continue to take every necessary precaution to ensure the safety of our community, and we have taken a number of steps across all of our locations, which include enhanced cleanliness and sanitization policies and procedures, extensive training for staff, physical distancing measures, reducing physical touch points in the club with touchless check-in, and more,” according to statement from McCall Gosselin, senior vice president of communications for Planet Fitness.

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