Coronavirus cluster at Weymouth youth cheering facility investigated by health department

WEYMOUTH, Mass. — At least 37 people connected to a youth cheerleading training facility in Weymouth have tested positive for COVID-19, the city health department told Boston 25 News by email Thursday.

The health department has been investigating the cluster at Cheer Sport Sharks New England since Monday with the help of state Department of Public Health epidemiologists, other local health departments and school nursing staff.

The 37 positive cases related to the training facility do not include family members or close contacts.

Four of the cases are residents of Weymouth, while the other patients live in Braintree, Rockland, Randolph, Quincy, Brookline, East Bridgewater, Hingham, Kingston, Marion, Franklin, Whitman, Dedham and Easton, the health department said.

“Our Nurses will continue to work with everyone involved to ensure all current COVID Quarantine and Isolation requirements are being met to reduce the potential continued spread of the virus,” the Weymouth Health Deptartment said in its statement. “The Health Department will work with the business owner to ensure the business is operating in full compliance with the current State Executive Office of Energy & Environmental Affairs COVID Safety Standards imposed on such a sports training facility.”

Kel Fichtner of Cheer Sport Sharks New England issued the following statement on Thursday:

“At Cheer Sport Sharks we have followed a stringent protocol over the last 12 months involving temperature checks at the door, mask policies, social distance policies, frequent sanitization of the entire gym, reduction in athletes inside the gym and continued to send monthly reminders to our families on our policies & procedures. With this protocol, we had not had any positive COVID cases, until the recent occurrences.

In my 25 years as a cheer coach and cheer gym owner I have never put anything but my athletes health and wellness first. Neither I nor any staff member or parent knowingly permitted a known positive Covid case to use our facilities. Anything to the contrary is extremely disheartening to hear.

We will continue to follow guidance by both the CDC and Weymouth board of health and work alongside them in caring for our athletes and families and ensuring that our facility is fully compliant with all health and safety requirements.”

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