GABA: COVID-19 Case At Ikebukuro Learning Studio

Aug 23, 2020 ,

On Monday August 10th, GABA closed its Ikebukuro Learning Studio (LS) after an instructor contracted COVID-19.

The LS was closed on the evening of August 10th, the whole day of August 11th, and then extended to August 12th.

On August 13th, the LS opened for lessons again.

GABA’s transparency in this case has improved from the Omotesando LS case, where only Omotesando instructors were told about an ill client at their LS, without details, and the Jiyugaoka LS case, where a client with COVID-19 was hospitalized and passed away shortly after taking GABA lessons.

In that case, GABA never officially informed instructors or staff, nor did it publish anything on its website.

Operating a business like GABA is a high-risk activity during a pandemic.

With lessons taking place inside small booths and the instructor and client immediately next to each other it is impossible to avoid the “Three Cs” the Ministry of Health, Labor and Welfare asks us to avoid:

1) Closed spaces
2) Crowded places
3) Close contact settings

As the Ministry states:
“The risk of occurrence of clusters is high when the “Three Cs” overlap!”

On August 16th the General Union sent GABA a list of questions about the Omotesando case.

1) What recommendations did GABA give to the instructor who tested positive for COVID-19?

2) Did GABA recommend that all clients, instructors and other LS staff get tested or self-isolate for two weeks?

3) Did GABA give special advice to the specific clients who had taken lessons with the COVID-19 positive?

4) Did GABA give clients, instructors and other LS staff information about where they can get tested for COVID-19?

5) What type of cleaning did GABA do at Ikebukuro LS before re-opening?

6) What cleaning supplies are available for instructors at Ikebukuro LS?

7) How often are the break room and other common areas at Ikebukuro LS cleaned?

8) Toilet areas are a risk for transmission of COVID-19. How many times per day are the toilet areas located near Ikebukuro LS cleaned?

9) How often are toilets inside GABA Learning Studios cleaned in general?

10) In studios such as Ikebukuro where the toilets are shared by GABA and other building tenants, does GABA monitor toilet cleaning?

11) There were previous cases of clients with COVID-19 at Jiyugaoka LS and Omotesando LS. The company did not communicate this to all instructors. With the Ikebukuro instructor case, GABA posted an announcement on GFI on August 11th. Will GABA post GFI announcements for all future confirmed cases?