Missouri City gym owner admits error after COVID outbreak

MISSOURI CITY, Texas (KTRK) -- A Missouri City mom is frustrated after she claims Alpha Omega Gymnastics and Dance did not let parents know in a timely manner about kids testing positive for COVID-19 during summer camp earlier this month.

She did not wish to be identified after receiving backlash on a social media post she made about the situation.

She says, overall, this should have been handled much differently.

"I think they should have shut down immediately, notified everybody who had been at the gym, done deep cleaning, [and] maybe closed for a day or two," said the mom. "They should have done something."

The gym released a statement to ABC13 saying they are now aware of 10 positive cases.

Read the full statement below:

"On July 19, we were notified that 2 of the children from the same family who participated in our camp had tested positive for COVID-19. At the time, I believed it to be an isolated case. Not wanting to panic others, I made the decision not to notify the parents of other camp participants. That was clearly an error in judgement, and one that I regret because we now have a total of 10 children who have tested positive. To date, all parents have been notified and there have been no other cases reported. We are taking steps to further ensure the well-being of our students and staff. Our facilities have been deep-cleaned and sanitized by a reputable cleaning company and will be thoroughly cleaned on a daily basis. We will also take the temperatures of all who enter our facility each day to ensure they have no fevers. We take the safety and well-being of our students, parents and staff very seriously. We will continue to evaluate the ever-changing climate and respond appropriately and responsibly."

Gym owners Jerit and Sarah Pogue explain they, too, wish they would have handled the issue differently.

"In hindsight, we should have alerted everybody before, as soon as we had that first case and let them know that this was going on and, to watch their kids," said Jerit Pogue. "That was a misjudgment on my part."

The Pogues have owned the Missouri City gym for nearly 20 years and said this has been a tough lesson to learn.

"I have people who feel like I let them down," he said. "That I broke their trust and confidence, and that relationship has been severed a little bit. But all I can do, at this point, is say, 'Hey, I made an error.' I should have done things differently. Could I have gone back, I would do things differently, and I am going to handle things differently moving forward."

The Pogues told ABC13 they have changed some policies at the gym in light of this.

They say moving forward, parents will be notified about any positive cases. They have also resumed taking temperatures and asking about COVID symptoms at the door.
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