A Virginia gym trainer initially believed she had an unfavorable scenario on her plate when she was informed that 50 athletes were potentially exposed to COVID-19 courtesy of a coach in their gym.
However, not a single athlete contracted the novel coronavirus due to ventilation measures and extra safety precautions that she imposed in her gym.
The coach contracted the coronavirus following one week of leading classes in October. However, no individual was infected at 460 Fitness.
Velvet Minnick, 44, is the owner and lead coach at Blacksburg's 460 Fitness in Virginia. Like numerous gym owners across the United States, she was forced to close the facility in March due to the global health crisis, reported CNN.
The gym had an edge against COVID-19. One of the gym members is Dr. Linsey Marr, a globally-acclaimed expert on aerosol transmission at Virginia Tech. She concentrates on how the virus and similar pathogens disperse through the air, reported Insider.
The gym held Zoom classes and rented out equipment but shortly after, members were burned out.
As Virginia entered the 2nd phase of reopening in June, Minnick was permitted to allow athletes to return to her facility. However, she turned to Dr. Marr to help her get members to return and simultaneously ensure their safety, reported Gwinnett Daily Post.
The 46-year-old doctor joined 460 Fitness around two years ago. At Virginia Tech, she is also a professor of civil and environmental engineering.
Marr describes herself on Twitter as an "intellectual omnivore and avid recreational athlete." She worked with owner Minnick throughout the summer to secure the high-intensity, CrossFit-style workouts to be as safe as possible for trainers and athletes.
According to Marr, adequate planning, good airflow, and abiding by social distancing measures make a difference in affirming that enthusiasm is the only contagious thing in the facility.
In March, as gyms closed, there were plenty of talks in the CrossFit community regarding the mental health benefits of working out. Some gym owners were lobbying for their facilities to stay open. That approach was not effective, but it got them included in the early stages of reopening.
Marr surmised the most favorable ventilation for the gym, depending on the layout and various wind scenarios.
According to Marr, 460 Fitness is situated in a warehouse space with numerous large, garage-style doors that roll open. It allows for much airflow that is comparable to being outdoors. The gym owner opened all of her facility's warehouse-style doors and designated athletes to be in close proximity to the doors.
Minnick sought Marr's expertise on ventilation and also strict distancing and hygiene protocols to ensure that athletes are as safe as possible as they work out.
According to Marr, "I knew the virus was transmitted mainly through the air so I thought it was really important to have good ventilation so everyone wasn't able to breathe it."