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NOVATO (KPIX) — The pandemic has shut down indoor gyms and fitness clubs but one in Marin County is making the most of the space it has. It might serve as a model for others to follow.

Rolling Hills Club in Novato is luckier than most. It sits on seven acres at the base of the foothills so there’s lots of space for tennis courts and lap pools.

The pandemic wiped out all the indoor gym areas which was a problem until owner Martha Domont took a trip to Costco.

“(I) bought every single tent they had,” Domont said. “I literally bought 50 tents and you’ll see why.”

With those tents, Domont brought the indoor gym outdoors. The tennis court has been covered with canopies to make a shady space for exercise and yoga classes. With more tents and some artificial turf, Domont created “Muscle Lawn,” an area for free weights and elliptical machines.

The workout area is by reservation only for 45 minute periods, followed by a complete wipe-down of all the equipment.

“Every three hours or four hours a team of people come in with these huge, almost bazooka-like misters and just mist everything,” explained Powell Nielsen who works at Rolling Hills.

A lot of thought went into the pool area as well. There are two lap lanes remaining but the rest of the Olympic-size pool is partitioned into 300-square-foot sections for families to reserve, each for an hour and 45 minutes.

“In some ways it’s nicer than it was before because we don’t have to worry about are we going to find a spot or will it be too crowded? And we have space from other people so it feels like our own mini pool,” said Liz Weldon, a club member.

Aside from lifeguards, there are so-called “monitors” to make sure everyone is following the rules about face-covering and distancing and constant cleaning. As a former event planner, Domont knows how to utilize space effectively and, while she has a lot more room than most gyms, she says the concept is the same.

“I feel for them, not being able to have what I have. But, since I have it, I can at least show you what to do with whatever you have, you know — to make it work.”

Domant’s son-in-law survived a brutal battle with COVID-19 and his father died from the disease.

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Vietnam Turns Danang Stadium Into Field Hospital Amid Virus Outbreak

By Khanh Vu and Phuong Nguyen

HANOI (Reuters) - Vietnam is close to completing the conversion of a sports stadium into a 1,000-bed field hospital in its new coronavirus epicentre Danang, the health ministry said on Thursday, as it battles an outbreak that has spread to at least 11 locations.

Aggressive contact-tracing, targeted testing and strict quarantining had helped Vietnam halt an earlier contagion, but it is now racing to control infections in the central city and beyond after a new outbreak ended a run of more than three months without domestic transmission.

Danang's Tien Son Sports Palace will from Saturday be used to treat an overflow of infected patients should the city's hospitals become overwhelmed, said the company behind the project, Sun Group.

Danang has reported more than 200 cases since the virus reappeared there on July 25. Authorities have said the situation was "under control" and the outbreak would likely peak in the next 10 days.

If infection numbers stabilise, the facility would be used to isolate people who were in direct contact with a positive case, as part of Vietnam's centralised quarantine programme, Sun Group said.

The health ministry reported five new COVID-19 infections on Thursday, taking Vietnam's total cases to 718, with 10 deaths.

Most recent cases have links to three hospitals in Danang, a coastal city that was until recently inundated with domestic tourists capitalising on holiday promotions and easing restrictions.

The health ministry has sent a task force of medical experts and more than 1,000 health workers to Danang, while Cuba has also dispatched a medical team to Vietnam to assist.

In the capital Hanoi, 72,000 people who recently returned from Danang would be re-tested, the city's governing body said on Thursday, this time using a swab-based test, known for its higher rate of accuracy than the blood sample-based rapid test kits, which Vietnam has used for mass screening.

Vietnam's Prime Minister has said early August was the "decisive" time to contain the outbreak.

(Reporting by Khanh Vu and Phuong Nguyen; Writing by James Pearson; Editing by Martin Petty)

Copyright 2020 Thomson Reuters.

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