(NEWS 1130) — The chief medical health officer for the Fraser Health Authority has ordered the immediate closure of all indoor gyms and fitness facilities in the region.
The order applies to weight training, gymnastics and martial arts facilities, as well as yoga and dance studios, and similar facilities in the region, which extends from Burnaby to Boston Bar.
Dr. Martin Lavoie, chief medical health officer, determined such facilities promote the transmission of COVID-19.
He said during a conference call that a number of on-site visits to work-out facilities in the region prompted the move, which also applies to work-out centers in apartment buildings and condo-complexes.
He noted the visits revealed a lack of compliance with social distancing rules and other health measures.
The order will remain in place until the end of May, but is subject to revision, cancellation, or extension.
Meanwhile, Lavoie encouraged the use of virtual means, such as online classes, to connect with people who access fitness facilities.
Private gyms such as Club 16 previously announced temporary closures due to the coronavirus pandemic.
Steve Nash Fitness closed all its facilities and laid off most staff.
EZ Fitness, a private operator in Buranby and New Westminster, has been ordered by Fraser Health to close, as well, according to a company voice message.
Municipalities also previously closed most recreational facilities.
Vancouver Coastal Health has not issued an order for fitness facilities to close and won’t be doing so, said Carrie Stefanson, public affairs for the region.
“Most of them are closed already,” she added.
Stefanson is aware of some small, private fitness facilities that are still open, and if they are able to maintain physical distancing and other health and safety requirements, they can remain so.
“We don’t close down businesses,” she said.