First documented gymnasium cluster of COVID-19 with whole genome sequencing in Australia

Commun Dis Intell (2018). 2023 Sep 21:47. doi: 10.33321/cdi.2023.47.55.


Background Transmission of coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) has been demonstrated in fitness settings internationally. We report the first documented case of transmission of COVID-19 in a gymnasium in Australia in 2020. Methods Case finding and case interviews were conducted among attendees in a Western Sydney gymnasium, Australia. Whole genome sequencing using an amplicon-based approach was performed on all SARS CoV-2 polymerase chain reaction positive samples detected through surveillance. Results We show that five cases of COVID-19 were linked to the gymnasium, with transmission occurring on 7 July 2020, when the index case transmitted the infection to four other gymnasium attendees through the sharing of an enclosed space. Conclusions There is an ongoing risk of transmission of COVID-19 within gymnasium environments and they are justifiably classified as a 'high-risk' venue. There may be a need to expand ventilation and space requirements to prevent transmission of COVID-19 in such settings in the context of severe COVID-19 variants or to prevent respiratory disease transmission in general.

MeSH terms

  • Australia / epidemiology
  • COVID-19* / epidemiology
  • Fitness Centers*
  • Humans
  • SARS-CoV-2 / genetics
  • Whole Genome Sequencing

Supplementary concepts

  • SARS-CoV-2 variants