On Friday, the Minnesota Department of Health released a list of all health and fitness clubs and gyms that have reached their coronavirus outbreak threshold.
They range from an outbreak of at least 23 known cases at the Rochester Athletic Club to one of at least 12 known cases in a lifetime in White Bear Lake.
The state threshold for an “epidemic” is at least seven cases from different households that reported visiting or using this facility in the last month before symptoms or testing positive.
Health officials use a month because that is about two incubation periods for the virus. By using this time frame, they recognize that they do not detect all cases; Obviously, if none of the seven were there at the same time on the same day, transmission from one to the other is unlikely. In other words, health officials say every outbreak is associated with “at least XX confirmed cases.”
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There is also a context around individual cases: when interviewed by contact tracers, individuals are asked about all likely sources of exposure. Epidemiologists are looking for a pattern to emerge where the likelihood of seven random people getting sick and contracting COVID from somewhere other than the same place they visited is so low that they can conclude that the health club they have all visited is the source of these cases. In the vast majority of COVID-19 cases in Minnesota, contact tracing never determines a source.
This list is similar to a list of bars and restaurants with outbreaks that the state has produced. For this list, as well as the relative frequency of the various sources of the virus, go here.
Another note on this list: Health officials didn’t start asking about health clubs until August. Then, in November, once they concluded that epidemics were happening and Gov. Tim Walz decided to shut them down for a month, they stopped asking. This is why the data stops at the beginning of November. However, after their closure, club members, industry, elected officials and the governor’s office began to ask for new data to move forward. So, in early December, the question of whether someone was going to a health club was added. is dated December 11, it shouldn’t really be considered current until November 13.
Here is the list :