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Cone Health expert weighs in on why some businesses are bigger health risks than others

Dr. James Wyatt said going to a gym forces people to form more droplets through their sweat, and that sweat can spread coronavirus.

GREENSBORO, N.C. — Many businesses are waiting to see what happens next, after Governor Roy Cooper extended phase 2 another three weeks.

Owner of Greensboro Downtown Yoga, Summer Sides said keeping her business a float has been stressful.

“From a financial stand point it has been really tricky,” Sides said. “The business side of me is going we need to be open.”

But Sides said the governor made the right decision.

She said not being able to see her father in the hospital because of coronavirus, and losing him in May made her realize how important it is to focus on the safety of others.

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“I couldn't continue to encourage people to be healthy and well through yoga breath while also saying you can get this condition coming into the studio,” Sides said.

Trever Koonce, the owner of Rocc Fitness in Greensboro said he held fitness classes on Zoom, but the participation wasn’t there.

So he started to host boot camp classes outside in small groups.

“Now people are tired.They want to get back out they want to move,” Koonce said. “You can’t confine us and expect us to continue to be healthy individuals.”  

Koonce said gyms know the seriousness of the virus and can sanitizing and clean properly.

But James Wyatt, Chief medical officer at Moses Cone Hospital said sanitation may not be enough.

“When people do certain exercises, they tend to form more droplets than others especially when they're lifting weights they tend to strain and spray those droplets" Wyatt said. "Those droplets can be around for a long period of time.

Dr. Wyatt knows wearing a mask is difficult when working out, and so is cleaning equipment properly between uses.

He said bars are also a bigger risk.

“Social distancing goes away in that environment,” Wyatt said. “In a restaurant you can control it to some extent by moving tables further part.”

Dr. Wyatt said restaurants have a lower risk factor because in most instances you're around family, not exposed to as many people and there's less movement and socializing than at a bar.

“You have to factor the alcohol aspect where folks get loose and not adhere to rules as easily,” Wyatt said.

Dr. Wyatt said there's nothing definitive saying you'll get the virus if these businesses open.

He said holding off is the safest thing to do as the number of coronavirus cases continues to grow. 


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