Monroe Mechanical Helps Fitness Facility Reduce the Risk of COVID Infection
New CDC Guidelines Indicate That Efficient Ventilation Systems are
Key to Reducing Risk of Covid Infection
CINCINNATI, OH – Octoberber 12, 2020 — “Deciding whether or not to workout at the gym, dine out at your favorite restaurant or go shopping during this pandemic is very much a personal choice,” says Marco Fiorini, Interim General Manager at the Cincinnati Sports Club.
Fiorini explains, “While maintaining 6 feet of social distancing and mask wearing are obvious factors to consider, good ventilation and proper air flow are also critically important elements to consider whether working out, eating or grocery shopping. While masks and safe social distancing guidelines are now mandated at all retail and fitness facilities statewide, poor ventilation and air flow can lead to increased transmission of airborne particles. However, when an indoor facility has good ventilation and proper air flow in place, there is a dramatically lower risk of transmission, and patrons should feel extremely safe”.
On October 5, the CDC provided an update, which clearly states that the rare instances whereby persons become infected with COVID while following safe social distancing and mask wearing protocol are due to poor ventilation in enclosed spaces.
The CDC recommends that all indoor spaces have a complete air turn or exchange, (how long it takes to replace the air in the room with fresh air), a minimum of every 10 minutes. In February of 2020, the locally and privately owned Cincinnati Sports Club was exceeding these guidelines as part of its 2008 pandemic preparedness plan with the fresh air dampers opened to 50%. The dampers are now open between 50-60% level. This resulted in cooler indoor temperatures in February and some hot or sticky days in July-August inside the Club. According to recent field measurements by an outside licensed, Professional Engineer, outside fresh air exchanges occur in the Cincinnati Sports Club fitness areas and group exercise studios every 1 ½-3 minutes.
According to Chris Bowling, General Manager of Monroe Mechanical, “For more than 20 years, we have worked hand in hand on an annual basis with the Cincinnati Sports Club evaluating their air systems and exploring options to create the best indoor environment at the Club. The Club has consistently chosen more costly methods of equipment in order to provide a better atmosphere for their members and staff”.
Fiorini continues, “The assumption by a few physicians that health clubs and fitness centers are poorly ventilated needs to be debunked. Well-run fitness facilities, in fact, are held to higher standards than most other businesses. In addition to the CDC guidelines, the Club chooses to meet the stringent guidelines set forth by the ACSM (American College of Sports Medicine), and I am proud to say that we are a member of the IHRSA (International Health, Racquet and Sportsclub Association), the MFA (Medical Fitness Association), and CMAA (Club Managers Association of America).”
Nicholas Ripberger, P.E. with Monroe Mechanical stated, “I was slightly surprised at the final results of the calculations. It is not often we find this level of air movement in an indoor facility.”
Fiorini continues, “Our interior and exterior air filters have a Merv 10 rating, making these filters more effective than an N95 mask. These filters are changed every 2 months versus the every 3 month recommendation.”
Fiorini concludes, “So before heading back to your favorite fitness facility restaurant or retail establishment, in addition to safe distancing and mask-wearing, you might want to consider asking questions about both the air flow and ventilation procedures being utilized, making sure that there are a sufficient number of air exchanges per hour and that they are utilizing high quality air filters. Don’t be afraid to ask questions and become informed. When proper air movement and ventilation are in place, coupled with social distancing, you should feel very safe indoors.”
About Cincinnati Sports Club
Now in its 30th year, and locally owned and operated, Cincinnati Sports Club has grown steadily across 16 sprawling acres at 3950 Red Bank Road in Fairfax, Ohio. It is accessible by three street entrances – at 3950 Red Bank Road, 5535 Murray Avenue and 3939 Virginia Avenue. For more information about the Cincinnati Sports Club, visit www.CincinnatiSportsClub.com.