HHS kept its gym open during coronavirus distancing

The HHS fitness center remained open, though gyms across the country were temporarily closed after the White House warned of gatherings of more than 10 people last week and urged Americans to isolate themselves. In the meantime, White House coronavirus coordinator Deborah Birx and other senior health officials have warned that the coronavirus is likely to be spread by traces of the virus that remain on commonly used surfaces such as subway poles, and urged Americans exercise caution when using common spaces.

The U.S. Senate closed its gym a week ago, but some senators have reportedly accessed it via the keyboard. Sen. Rand Paul (R-Kentucky) used it on Sunday morning before getting a positive test for coronavirus and caused Sen. Krysten Sinema (D-Ariz.) To tweet on Monday that her colleagues were “absolutely irresponsible”.

Current and former HHS employees described the department’s fitness center as a gym with multiple exercise areas, including weights and exercise equipment, and large enough to hold group exercise classes.

The fitness center is located at HHS headquarters, and the department has introduced a protocol in the past few days in which each employee must be checked and their temperature checked when entering the building.

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