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COVID-19 cases call into question spin class safety protocols

Last Updated Jul 21, 2020 at 3:54 pm MDT

CALGARY (CityNews) – A week after first hearing of spin class goers contracting COVID-19 more stories indicating lax social distancing rules and COVID-19 infections at RIDE Cycle Club are popping up.

Since airing the story of COVID-19 cases linked to RIDE in Calgary, more people have reached out with their experiences, including those who have since tested positive for the virus.

Those accounts detail basement classes with a lack of physical distancing, and frustration over the little to no communication from the club.

The company defended itself, saying classes without COVID-19 regulations were private friends and family classes.

Alex Troniak was one of those in attendance at a RIDE class.

“At the class I went to, there were no masks. There was physical contact happening, there was a fan on. Those are really big things in terms of not adhering to protocol.”

Since Troniak shared her story, three more people have come forward. CityNews has agreed not to identify those people.

Two people who came forward have also since tested positive for COVID-19 – and they say they had had similar experiences to that one Troniak laid out.

Through an email obtained by CityNews, along with information from people we spoke to who attended the classes, we learned new details about the classes.

The program was being held at a basement-level space called the Underground.

Attendees were told 40 bikes would be available and people were encouraged to invite friends and family.

However, riders attending the classes say they believe there were about 20 bikes in the space, and that those bikes were close enough to each other that you could touch your neighbour, instead of being the mandated three metres apart.

One woman told CityNews that she filed a public health complaint with AHS after attending the class, while another source is adamant that safety protocols were not being followed.

There are also questions about when people were notified.

“I think I got exposed July 7. I went to a spin class and there have been a tonne of positive cases that came out of that class and that space,” said Troniak.

“It’s going to be up to people being honest and being careful.”

The first email from the company notified clients that a member of their staff had tested positive and was “periodically present” between July 9 to July 13.

It wasn’t until July 15 that a second email was sent advising anyone who had been to classes starting July 6 to monitor themselves for COVID-19 symptoms.

The separate accounts received by CityNews all express the same concern–that RIDE did not adhere to guidelines, with some questioning the company’s disregard for the health and safety of the community and their lack of accountability.

CityNews has reached out to RIDE Cycle Club on four separate occasions. In a statement, they maintain that it began operating rides on July 6 and that all safety standards were in place.

According to RIDE’s website, that means staff wearing masks and gloves, physical distancing, and spacing between bikes.