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Elmhurst greenhouse associated with COVID-19 outbreak with at least 18 confirmed cases

ELMHURST, Ill. (WLS) – DuPage County health officials are investigating 18 confirmed cases of COVID-19 that are linked to the Orangetheory gym in the western suburban town of Elmhurst.

The place is open on Tuesday, just days after the outbreak.

“Try to do group exercises outside if you can, because airflow matters,” said Dr. Poonam P. Taker. “If you are in a closed environment with a lot of people, the chances of exposure and prolonged exposure are higher.”

Dr Taker, program director of the sports medicine fellowship at Amita Health Resurrection Medical Center, said the virus could spread more easily during group indoor fitness classes. He recommended playing sports outside and reminded people not to share equipment.

“Special equipment, making sure you clean that equipment, making sure they don̵

7;t migrate around the room and that you’re just in your bubble,” he said.

According to Orangetheory Fitness, their training during the pandemic is designed to minimize cross-contamination. The company also said staff cleaned between hours and checked the door temperature.

“There’s no way we’re 100% safe,” Tucker said. “We’re talking about risk reduction here. Minimize the risk for yourself and everyone else.”

In a statement, Orangetheory Fitness management said in part: “We are working with local health authorities in the contact tracking process to identify any additional cases as soon as possible. We are constantly researching and developing our internal policies and processes to ensure the safety of our employees. and members and are committed to constant vigilance in all our studios … “

Overall, Elmhurst marks a jump in COVID-19 cases. New data from the DuPage County Health Department shows a 10% increase in the number of COVID-19 cases in the city.

People living in the area hope the increase in cases serves as another reminder that the virus is still there and still spreading.

“I feel as concerned as I should be,” said Todd Benson, a resident of Elmhurst. “That doesn’t make me believe it.”

“You can’t have a bunch of people together when there’s a virus like the one around,” said Meg Sullivan, an Elmhurst resident.

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