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Christ cites study’s indoor activity risk factor in Arizona gym closures

(AP Photo)

PHOENIX – Arizona’s top health official defended the state’s closure of gyms Wednesday, citing a CDC study on indoor activity and coronavirus transmission.

The state reported single-day highs of 4,878 coronavirus cases and 88 deaths Wednesday.

“We know that there are certain types of activity that put individuals more at risk,” Dr. Cara Christ told KTAR News 92.3 FM’s The Mike Broomhead Show.

“We got a study from the [Centers for Disease Control and Prevention] that shows that there was transmission among people that were involved in activity indoors.”

Gov. Doug Ducey on Monday delayed further reopening in the state, ordering gyms, bars, nightclubs, movie theaters and water parks to close for at least two weeks.

The owner of Mountainside Fitness in the Valley filed an injunction against the governor on Tuesday.

“We know that indoors is riskier than being outdoors, where you can physically distance even more and there’s better ventilation,” Christ said.

“The other thing could be if you’re breathing really heavy and you’re breathing onto a machine and you don’t wipe the machine down in between uses, all of that increases your risk.”

Mountainside Fitness CEO Tom Hatten said Tuesday his facilities had increased their cleaning procedures by tenfold.

“We know that it’s very difficult to wear a mask while you are exercising,” Christ said. “[And] that’s another risk factor – if you’re around people who aren’t wearing a mask.”

Hatten said later Wednesday on the show, “We have a lot of members that are choosing to wear masks. Inside a health club … we can separate the population, we can social distance.

“You can’t do that in a grocery store.”

Local governments in the state have enacted their own mask policies and Maricopa County regulations stipulated minimum standards.

Among the musts are people older than 6 have to wear a mask that covers their mouth and nose in enclosed public spaces where social distancing guideline can’t be maintained.

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