'It’s frustrating': Gym owner says Sask. Health Authority failed to provide key information about outbreak
SASKATOON -- A Martensville gym owner says health officials are neglecting to provide key information about an outbreak situation at his facility.
Chris Buhr, co-owner of Forged Fitness, says the Saskatchewan Health Authority (SHA) contacted him on Feb. 26 to inform him of an outbreak declaration at his business, based on four positive cases that arose sometime between Feb. 9 and Feb. 20.
He says the SHA never provided exposure dates and times and instead, told all 180 members to self-isolate.
“We were not provided any information, we were just told everybody go home. No questions asked,” Buhr tells CTV News.
Doug Dahl, a spokesperson for the SHA, says “issuing information about dates and times for possible exposure is done when there is a concern about not knowing all potential close contacts.”
Before the SHA stopped issuing frequent COVID-19 exposure alerts, the health authority typically provided dates and times of possible exposure at gyms, often urging people who may have been at the business during those times to self-monitor for symptoms.
Buhr wants to know why self-isolation was required during his gym’s outbreak.
“We try to ask questions, but we don’t really get any answers … it’s frustrating,” Buhr says.
"It just seems like they took my list of people, and just basically went through it, and told everybody to isolate without reason.”
Dahl says the decision to self-monitor versus self-isolate is made by the medical health officer “based on the contact investigation and risk of further transmission.”
Buhr says while his members were contacted and told to self-isolate, the health authority never gave him the same advice.
The gym owner is calling for better communication from the SHA.
He says in one conversation, shared with him by a member, a contact tracer said ventilation was an issue at Forged Fitness. But Buhr says no health official has visited the facility.
Buhr says he wants clear information about how to move forward from the outbreak.
“Never once was I contacted and told what to do or how to take the next steps,” he says.
Forged Fitness remains open through the outbreak.