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Police called after man enters local gym and says he has coronavirus

ST. ANTHONY — A man scared fellow patrons after he walked into a St. Anthony gym Saturday morning and said he had novel coronavirus.
The man, who police say is a Brigham Young University-Idaho student, entered Anytime Fitness on Bridge Street around 11 a.m. He was talking on his phone and loudly said he had tested positive for COVID-19, according to St. Anthony Police Chief Allen Neff.
“His comments made a lot of people concerned and we were called to go down there,” Neff tells “Our officer arrived at the gym and put on a face mask and gloves before going in.”
The officer approached the man and asked him to go outside. Neff says the student admitted to making the coronavirus comments, but said he was joking and did not have the disease.
“He was not contagious and was not infected. He thought it was funny but we obviously take this very seriously,” Neff says.
Police took statements from others and the man, whose name has not been released, could face criminal charges. The incident remains under investigation and Neff reminds everyone that pranks like this are no laughing matter.
“This is one of the things you don’t do. This is a serious thing and had he really had coronavirus, he would have exposed everyone in the gym and our officer to it,” Neff says. “People need to remember to act responsibly and there are certain things you don’t joke around about.”

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