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One client in one spin studio that followed all the rules triggers a coronavirus outbreak with at least 61 cases

SPINCO, in Hamilton, Ontario, just reopened in July and had all of the right protocols in place, including screening of staff and attendees, tracking all those in attendance at each class, masking before and after classes, laundering towels and cleaning the rooms within 30 minutes of a complete class, said Dr. Elizabeth Richardson, Hamilton’s medical officer of health, in a statement.

But it still wasn’t enough.

Public health officials are very concerned about the number of cases and the size of the outbreak, especially because the city is not currently a hotspot and the facility was not ignoring health protocols, they said in a statement to CNN.

“They have also supported public health services in our investigation by sharing the messaging with all their members,” said Richardson.

There are currently 44 confirmed positive primary cases associated with SPINCO and 17 confirmed secondary cases. Exposure was linked to several classes held from September 28 to October 4.

The studio’s co-owners, Naz Zarezadegan and Ira Price, told The Hamilton Spectator on Monday that public health officials told them “patient zero displayed no symptoms.”

In a post to clients on Instagram, SPINCO exclaimed in frustration, “We took all the measures public health offered, even added a few, and still the pandemic struck us again!'”

SPINCO said it will stay closed pending further investigation by health officials.

City officials say SPINCO was operating at 50% capacity, with a 6-foot radius around each bike, and that this might raise questions about the safety of gyms and fitness studios during the pandemic.

“We continue to look at what does it mean, what do we need to understand about exercises classes,” Richardson said in a media briefing Tuesday.

Canada is reckoning with a second wave of the coronavirus which has been marked by a doubling of new, daily positive cases of Covid-19 within the past month. Targeted restrictions and closures are in place in many urban centers including Toronto and Montreal, but not in Hamilton.

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Coronavirus Outbreak ‘Likely’ To Get Worse In Ohio, Governor Says

COLUMBUS, OH — A somber Gov. Mike DeWine said Ohio faces a difficult stretch in its battle with the coronavirus.

“Things will get better…but in all likelihood things will get worse before they get better,” DeWine said. “The virus is tough. It is cunning. It almost has a mind of its own.”

The governor expressed his confidence in a forthcoming vaccine, but urged Ohioans to don masks and follow health guidance. DeWine wants more compliance with mask guidelines from Ohioans, preferably with at least 85 percent of Ohioans wearing masks in public.

Don’t miss the latest updates from health and government officials in Ohio on the coronavirus. Sign up for Patch newsletters and news alerts.

To keep the economy fluttering with life, Ohioans will need to wear masks, DeWine said. To keep the state’s remaining institutions open and functioning, including schools and sports, Ohioans must also follow social distancing guidelines.

“Wear masks when you are in any place where you will see others. The virus wants us to get complacent because it needs us to spread it,” DeWine said.

The governor said the vigilance and sacrifices of Ohioans has kept the state’s COVID-19 outbreak from hitting cataclysmic proportions and has prevented largescale outbreaks. However, the virus has been spreading rapidly across the Buckeye State.

DeWine highlighted Ohio’s surge in new cases and rising positivity rates on COVID-19 tests. Two weeks ago, Ohio was confirming approximately 1,000 new cases per day. Over the past seven days, Ohio has averaged 1,400 new cases per day.

Other early indicators of COVID-19 spead have been spiking, DeWine said. Visits to medical offices, people reporting COVID-19-like symptoms and other metrics have been jumping rapidly.

“This shows just how this virus has spread throughout the state,” DeWine said.

Here are all of Tuesday’s COVID-19 numbers in Ohio:

More reading:

This article originally appeared on the Across Ohio Patch

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Boris Johnson Unveils Three-Tier Lockdowns To Slow Outbreak Despite Local Allies’ Pushback

KEY POINTS

  • Boris Johnson has announced a three-tiered system of lockdowns to combat the resurgent pandemic
  • Under the system, Liverpool would close pubs and ban gatherings. Manchester, another outbreak hotspot, has not agreed to the measures
  • Other countries in Europe and the United States also face a second wave, threatening to overwhelm hospitals and intensive care units

British Prime Minister Boris Johnson on Monday announced a new three-tiered lockdown plan as COVID-19 surges once more across Europe and the United States. Under the plan, virus hotspots like Liverpool and Greater Manchester would close pubs and also ban gatherings. Greater Manchester has not yet agreed to the measure, and local leaders in Liverpool and across the U.K. have voiced objections to the implementation of the measures.

West Midlands Mayor Andy Street said in a statement that the restrictions were “not something regional leaders supported, nor what I believed would be happening following extensive conversations over recent days”

Labour Party leader Keir Starmer told parliament that he doubted the government’s ability to contain the spread of the virus even with new regulations.

“I’m now deeply skeptical the government has actually got a plan to get control of this virus,” Starmer said. 

The U.K. has over 603,000 cases and nearly 43,000 deaths from COVID, according to Johns Hopkins University.

Johnson himself had previously said he wanted to avoid further lockdowns, but rising infection numbers have forced his hand. Previously unused hospitals built to manage the initial COVID-19 outbreak are being employed to deal with patient overflow. 

In April, Johnson tested positive for COVID and later recovered.

BBC News reported on Oct. 5 that some speculation has lingered over whether he fully recovered. Johnson has stated that he was “as fit as several butchers’ dogs.”

Almost 14,000 new coronavirus cases were reported across the UK on Monday Almost 14,000 new coronavirus cases were reported across the UK on Monday Photo: AFP / Paul ELLIS

Britain isn’t the only country in Europe dealing with the resurgent virus. German Chancellor Angela Merkel met with cabinet members Monday to discuss new measures against the virus and has a more significant meeting Wednesday with the various state Premiers. 

French intensive care units are being pushed to capacity after youth populations sheltered the virus, reexposing more vulnerable demographics. Their hospitals are understaffed, and it could be months before new personnel can finish training.

The United States is dealing with its own second wave. Daily new cases spent four days over 50,000, fuelled by both populations and governments unwilling to follow prevention guidelines. The disease isn’t distributed evenly across either the U.S. or U.K.: low infection rates in New York City and London have officials moving forward with plans for an air corridor ahead of the holiday tourism season. 

A stateside vaccine is likely months away. The exact trends that threw France back into the thick of the pandemic have also played out across the U.S.

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Some U.S. doctors flee to New Zealand where the outbreak is under control and science is respected

Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern speaks to media at a press conference ahead of a nationwide lockdown at Parliament on March 25, 2020 in Wellington, New Zealand.

Hagen Hopkins | Getty Images

Dr. Judy Melinek knew it was time to make a change when she started fear for her health and safety.

While working as acting chief forensic pathologist for Alameda County in California, she read early reports about a virus in Wuhan, China. By June, after repeatedly sounding the alarm about the need for health workers to have sufficient personal protective equipment, she’d had enough. She also hoped for temperature checks, social distancing and masks, but she noticed that not all of the staff in her office were taking these steps.

And then an email appeared offering her the opportunity to relocate to New Zealand, a country that has reported less than 2,000 coronavirus cases and 25 deaths, drawing widespread praise from around the world for its science-led response. Melinek jumped at the opportunity. 

After a period of quarantine, she’s now living and working in Wellington City, New Zealand. She’s been impressed so far. “There’s a lot more respect for the government and for science here,” she said. 

Melinek is part of a wave of U.S. doctors plotting a move to New Zealand. A spokesperson for Global Medical Staffing, a recruitment group that helps doctors find short and long-term positions around the world, noted that inquiries have increased about relocating to New Zealand from the U.S. as more physician jobs have been affected during the pandemic. In addition, more physicians currently employed in New Zealand who already located are choosing to extend their contracts “because of fewer reported cases of Covid-19,” meaning that there’s a slight dip in open roles. 

Melinek has been open about her decision on social media, and has subsequently heard from half dozen of her peers considering doing the same. She expects the number to keep rising as the pandemic continues. “America will suffer an exodus of professionals to other countries that have responded better, with economies that have recovered faster,” she said. 

In the the United States, where the federal government has largely left the response for the pandemic up to the states, more than 213,000 people have died from the virus. Across the country, some states have largely reopened, despite recent surges in cases. An outbreak that tore throughout the White House has spread to at least 37 people, including President Donald Trump, according to a website tracking the infections. 

New Zealand, by contrast, recently declared victory over the virus after eradicating community spread for the second time. 

In addition, many public health workers and scientists based in the United States say they have faced online harassment and threats while sharing guidance to the public about measures to keep them safe, including masks and social distancing. New Zealand’s Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern has repeatedly praised scientists, and offered empathy to the public at the most trying times, including during the early lockdown. 

New Zealand

China to test 9 million after fresh outbreak

BEIJING (AP) — Chinese health authorities will test all 9 million people in the eastern city of Qingdao for the coronavirus this week after nine cases linked to a hospital were found, the government announced Monday.

The announcement broke a two-month streak with no virus transmissions within China reported, though China has a practice of not reporting asymptomatic cases. The ruling Communist Party has lifted most curbs on travel and business but still monitors travelers and visitors to public buildings for signs of infection.

Authorities were investigating the source of the infections found in eight patients at Qingdao’s Municipal Chest Hospital and one family member, the National Health Commission said.


“The whole city will be tested within five days,” the NHC said on its social media account.

China, where the pandemic began in December, has reported 4,634 deaths and 85,578 cases, plus nine suspected cases that have yet to be confirmed.

The last reported virus transmissions within China were four patients found on Aug. 15 in the northwestern city of Urumqi in the Xinjiang region. All the cases reported since then were in travelers from outside the mainland.

The ruling party lifted measures in April that cut off most access to cities with a total of some 60 million people including Wuhan in central China.

Qingdao is a busy port and headquarters for companies including Haier, a major appliance maker, and the Tsingtao brewery. The government gave no indication whether the latest cases had contact with travel or trade.

Travelers arriving from abroad in China still are required to under a 14-day quarantine.

In other developments in the Asia-Pacific region:

— India has reported 66,732 new coronavirus cases in the past 24 hours, driving the country’s overall tally to 7.1 million. The Health Ministry on Monday also reported 816 deaths in the past 24 hours, taking total fatalities to 109,150. India is seeing fewer new daily cases of the virus since mid-September when the daily infections touched a record high of 97,894 cases. It’s averaging more than 70,000 cases daily so far this month. Health experts have warned that congregations during major festivals later this month and in November have the potential for the virus to spread. They also caution that coming winter months are expected to aggravate respiratory ailments.

— Authorities in Indonesia’s capital have moved to ease strict social restrictions despite a steady increase in cases nationwide. Jakarta previously imposed large-scale social restrictions from April to June, then eased them gradually. The city brought back strict restrictions last month as the virus spread. Jakarta Gov. Anies Baswedan said his administration decided to ease restrictions from Monday as the increase in infections had stabilized. The move came days after President Joko Widodo urged local administrations to refrain from imposing lockdown measures that could cause crippling economic damage in the Southeast Asia’s largest economy.

— South Korea has confirmed 97 new cases of the coronavirus, a modest uptick from the daily levels reported last week. The increase comes as officials

Fauci calls White House outbreak a coronavirus superspreader event

More than 150 people gathered in the White House’s Rose Garden on September 26 to see President Donald Trump officially nominate Judge Amy Coney Barrett to the Supreme Court. Most of them were maskless. Many hugged or shook hands as they mingled in close proximity.

Some attendees even celebrated inside the White House, without masks.

According to Dr. Anthony Fauci, the director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, the nomination ceremony was a coronavirus superspreader event. The term refers to a circumstance in which one person infects a disproportionately large number of others, often during a large gathering.

“The data speak for themselves,” Fauci told CBS News in a radio interview on Friday.

Within five days of the event, both the president and the first lady, Melania Trump, were diagnosed with COVID-19. The outbreak has hit at least 34 people in the president’s orbit, including White House staffers, bodyguards, and family members, as well as pastors, journalists, GOP senators, and advisors.

The identity of the person or people who were first infected, however, is unknown.

Defining a superspreader

rose garden barrett

Judge Amy Coney Barrett speaks in the White House’s Rose Garden on September 26 after President Donald Trump nominated her to the Supreme Court.

Chip Somodevilla/Getty


The term superspreader refers to an infected person who transmits the virus to more people than the average patient does. For the coronavirus, that average number, known as R0 (pronounced “R-naught”), has seemed to hover between 2 and 2.5. So anyone who passes the virus to three people or more could be considered a superspreader.

A superspreader event, then, is a set of circumstances that facilitates excessive transmission. In one well-known example, a person transmitted the virus to 52 others during a choir practice in March in Mount Vernon, Washington.

A superspreader event in Arkansas that month involved a pastor and his wife who attended church events a few days before they developed symptoms. Of the 92 people there, 35 got sick. Seven had to be hospitalized, and three died.

In that sense, it’s not so much that individual people are innate superspreaders — it’s the type of activity that enables a person to pass the virus to lots of people.

Those activities generally involve large gatherings — often indoors — in which lots of people from different households come into close, extended contact, such as religious services or parties.

“You can’t have a superspreading event unless there are a lot of people around, so you have to be very careful still about gatherings of people of any size,” William Schaffner, an infectious-disease expert at Vanderbilt University, previously told Business Insider.

rose garden barrett

Attorney General William Barr, right, says goodbye to former New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie at the Rose Garden event on September 26.

Chip Somodevilla/Getty


Rachel Graham, an assistant epidemiology professor at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, said most Rose Garden ceremony attendees weren’t doing anything to mitigate virus transmission.

“They’re doing pretty

New York ‘At Risk’ Of Coronavirus Outbreak, Analysis Finds

NEW YORK, NY — A little over three months ago, New York was one of just three states that was on track to contain the coronavirus, according to the nonprofit Covid Act Now, which tracks local-level coronavirus data. It was a remarkable turnaround for the state, which quickly became the world’s COVID-19 epicenter in the spring and at one point saw over 800 coronavirus-related deaths a day.

And while the number of New Yorkers dying from the disease each day has dramatically fallen into the single digits, Covid Act Now has since revised its rosy outlook and warned that New York is at risk of an outbreak, much like the majority of the country.

New York’s outlook is now worse than Maine, Washington State, California, New Mexico, Hawaii, Maryland and the Northern Mariana Islands.

The outlook comes as Gov. Andrew Cuomo this week announced drastic new rules for places seeing clusters of cases. In the hardest hit areas, non-essential businesses and schools would close, and houses of worship could have no more than 10 people inside.

The state identified clusters on south shore of Nassau County on Long Island, in Rockland and Orange counties in the Hudson Valley, and in parts of Brooklyn and Queens in New York City.

The state has so-called “Red Zone” focus areas in four counties where the positivity rate over the past three weeks reached 6.4 percent. The rest of the state, meanwhile, held steady at 0.91 percent. Red zone focus areas are home to 2.8 percent of the state’s population but account for nearly a fifth of all positive cases in the state during that three-week period.

New York remains at the second-highest level of risk behind “active or imminent outbreak,” according to Covid Act Now.

New York Coronavirus Overview

  • Daily new cases per 100,000: 7.4

  • Infection rate: 1.19

  • Positive rate: 1.3 percent

  • ICU headroom used: 7 percent

  • Tracers hired: 100 percent

When it comes to the infection rate, Covid Act Now said New York’s active cases are rapidly increasing. In describing the 7.4 daily new cases per 100,000 people, the site said the virus is not contained, but still at a low level.

Though it deemed the state is at risk of an outbreak, the site pointed to positive signs. At 1.3 percent, New York’s positive test rate indicates there’s ample tests being taken. With just 7 percent of ICU headroom used, the state can likely handle a new wave of cases, one of Cuomo’s primary concerns at the beginning of the crisis that led to his request for the USS Comfort hospital ship.

An email seeking comment Friday from Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s office and the state Department of Health wasn’t immediately returned.

Covid Act Now is a volunteer-driven nonprofit organization dedicated to providing local-level disease intelligence and data analysis of the coronavirus in the United States, the group said on its website. Its founders include a former Google data science executive, the former chief technology officer of Dropbox Paper, a

Possible coronavirus outbreak linked to church’s 10-day prayer service

A New Hampshire church’s 10-day indoor prayer service is being linked to a possible COVID-19 outbreak after several people connected to the church tested positive for the coronavirus.

The state’s Department of Health and Human Services said it is investigating the cases at Gate City Church in Nashua, about 40 miles south of Concord.

The church held the multi-day prayer service from Sept. 19 to Sept. 28.

Nashua Public Health Director Bobbie Bagley told local station WMUR that the church required guests to wear face masks when entering and exiting and enforced social distancing but at one point some of the guests removed their masks while inside.

“One of the things that we did learn was during their singing, they took their masks off,” Bagley said. “And we know that when you sing you’re releasing respiratory droplets in the air, so that’s one of the high-risk activities that can occur that can cause exposure in a community.”

The health department said in a press release Wednesday that seven people connected to the church have tested positive for the coronavirus, but Bagley told WMUR that the number of infected is up to nine.

The health department asked that anyone who attended the service get tested for the virus.

The church did not immediately return a request for comment Friday. Pastor Paul Berube released a statement Thursday saying that the church did its best to follow CDC and state guidelines.

“We implemented strict social distancing, physically removing more than half the seats in our facility. We screened our attendees for fever, provided hand sanitizer, required masks when proceeding to or from seats, and posted advisory signs,” the statement read.

“Each and every seat, handrail, and doorknob in our facility was sprayed with disinfectant before and after each meeting. If these infections did occur in our facility, they did so notwithstanding the careful work of our staff, whose efforts likely mitigated even further spread of the infection.”

The church said services will move online for the next few weeks.

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White House Outbreak May Have Spread Coronavirus To Other Communities : Shots

Numerous people have tested positive after attending an event in the Rose Garden at the White House on Sept. 26 to announce the nomination of Seventh U.S. Circuit Court Judge Amy Coney Barrett to the Supreme Court.

Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images


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Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images

Numerous people have tested positive after attending an event in the Rose Garden at the White House on Sept. 26 to announce the nomination of Seventh U.S. Circuit Court Judge Amy Coney Barrett to the Supreme Court.

Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images

The White House’s apparent failures to thoroughly contact trace its current coronavirus outbreak has led local health officers to take matters into their own hands.

The District of Columbia and nine neighboring jurisdictions are calling on White House staff and visitors who might be connected to the recent outbreak there to contact their local health departments.

“We recommend that if you have worked in the White House in the past two weeks, attended the Supreme Court announcement in the Rose Garden on Saturday, September 26, 2020, and/or have had close contact with others who work in those spaces or attended those events, you should get a test for COVID,” the health officers wrote in a letter shared by D.C. Mayor Muriel Bowser early Thursday morning.

The authors note that this recommendation is being made based on “our preliminary understanding that there has been limited contact tracing performed to date.”

Thirty-seven White House staff and other contacts have tested positive, according to a website tracking the outbreak, citing public information such as media reports and tweets. Eleven of those positive cases are connected to the Amy Coney Barrett nomination event in the Rose Garden on September 26, according to the tracker, from which many attendees flew home to other states.

Emergency physician Leana Wen notes that, given that that event was nearly two weeks ago, it’s likely the outbreak has already sparked other infections.

“We’re not even talking about first generation spread or second generation to spread, we’re talking about third generation spread,” she says. In other words, those who were exposed at the Rose Garden could have infected others who have since infected still more people.

When it comes to tracking down all the contacts that might be connected to the White House outbreak, there are many daunting challenges, from the country’s fractured public health system to the Trump administration’s approach.

1. The White House is on federal land

There are reports of an increase in coronavirus tests in D.C., and some high case numbers in recent days, which has prompted concerns that the outbreak at the White House could be driving spread in the local area. It’s difficult to know for sure if these things are connected.

But because the White House is federal property, the job of contact tracing an outbreak on the White House grounds doesn’t fall to the District’s public health staff, it falls to the White House Medical Unit.

The open letter comes after D.C. Mayor Bowser

WHO reports record one-day rise in global coronavirus cases amid European outbreak

By Lisa Shumaker

(Reuters) – The World Health Organization reported a record one-day increase in global coronavirus cases on Thursday, with the total rising by 338,779 in 24 hours led by a surge of infections in Europe.

Europe reported 96,996 new cases, the highest total for the region ever recorded by the WHO.

Global deaths rose by 5,514 to a total of 1.05 million.

The previous WHO record for new cases was 330,340 on Oct. 2. The agency reported a record 12,393 deaths on April 17.

As a region, Europe is now reporting more cases than India, Brazil or the United States.

India reported 78,524 new cases, followed by Brazil at 41,906 and the United States with 38,904 new infections, according to the WHO, whose data lags the daily reports by each country.

According to a Reuters analysis of more recent country data, COVID-19 infections are rising in 54 countries, including surges in Argentina, Canada and much of Europe. (Graphic: https://tmsnrt.rs/34CabCf)

Infections in the United Kingdom have reached record levels with over 17,000 new cases reported on Thursday.

“We are seeing a definite and sustained increase in cases and admissions to hospital. The trend is clear, and it is very concerning,” said Dr Yvonne Doyle, medical director for Public Health England.

France’s new daily COVID-19 infections remained above the record 18,000 threshold for the second day on Thursday with new measures to curb the outbreak expected.

The average number of new infections reported in Belgium has been increasing for seven days straight and Germany reported its biggest daily increase in new cases since April on Thursday.

While India still leads in the globe in most new cases reported per day, new infections are down 20% from its peak.

In the United States, which has the largest total number of cases and deaths in the world, new infections are edging higher along with the most hospitalized COVID-19 patients since early September.

(Reporting by Lisa Shumaker in Chicago, Editing by Franklin Paul, Richard Chang and David Gregorio)

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