Gym staff ordered to get tested

March 12, 2021

(To watch the full press briefing with sign language interpretation, click here.)


The Centre for Health Protection today said due to a number of COVID-19 cases detected in fitness centres, all gym staff in Hong Kong will be required to have a virus test by March 14.


The centre's Communicable Disease Branch Head Dr Chuang Shuk-kwan told reporters at a press briefing this afternoon that it is investigating 60 additional COVID-19 cases, of which 54 are locally transmitted.


Among the local cases, 47 are linked to URSUS Fitness in Sai Ying Pun.


Dr Chuang said: “Because the gym is located on Hong Kong Island, many of those infected by the COVID-19 gym cluster work in Central and other Hong Kong Island districts. The cluster involves various occupations, such as banking, finance and lawyers.”


She appealed to the infected people and their close contacts to help with the contact tracing work.


“Contact tracing is challenging because there are a lot of cases popping up in the past one or two days. Those infected may have already went to various places during their social activities - many of them also went to restaurants, or sometimes bars to drink with their friends and gather at home. So it is difficult for them to recall all their activities.


“We need the compliance and the co-operation of all the people infected as well as their close contacts."


Dr Chuang also noted that infections have been found among those who had not been to the gym.


“We have already observed a small number of second-generation transmission among those who had not been to the gym - the close contacts of the cases. It is likely that we may also observe third-generation transmission, even after putting the close contacts into the quarantine camps.


“So I think compulsory testing may help to find out if there are other asymptomatic infections among the other staff in the gyms.”


The centre also reported that there are five local cases with unknown sources of infection.


Meanwhile, 80 places with one or more confirmed cases are now covered by compulsory testing notices.


Additionally, staff or students of Pak Tin Catholic Primary School, Kellett School, HK Education Tutoring Services and Education Concept tested positive for the virus. Staff, students and visitors attending these places have to undergo compulsory testing.


The Government will set up mobile specimen collection stations at 13 locations on March 12. Starting from March 13, the mobile specimen collection station at Butterfly Bay Community Centre in Tuen Mun will be relocated to Kin Sang Community Hall and will be open until March 20.


Mobile specimen collection stations at French International School in Tseung Kwan O, Li Sing Street Playground in Sai Ying Pun, Edinburgh Place in Central, Wong Tai Sin Square, Maple Street Playground in Sham Shui Po, Sha Tsui Road Playground in Tsuen Wan, On Hing Playground in Yuen Long, Tin Shui Sports Centre in Tin Shui Wai, Basketball Court of Tai Po Community Centre and 7-a-side Hard-surfaced Soccer Pitch of Tung Chung North Park will extend their services.


For information and health advice on COVID-19, visit the Government's dedicated webpage.

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