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Coronavirus: AHS issues orders to 6 gyms in Alberta for failing to close

Alberta Health Services ordered six gyms in Alberta to close, after they stayed open following a COVID-19 order.
Alberta Health Services ordered six gyms in Alberta to close, after they stayed open following a COVID-19 order. Files / Global News

Alberta Health Services has issued COVID-19-related orders to seven businesses, including six gyms, under the Public Health Act.

READ MORE: AHS has received nearly 4,000 COVID-19 complaints, police not issuing tickets yet

AHS has received 3,930 coronavirus-related complaints and services requests since January, according to Kerry Williamson, the executive director of issues management for AHS. The seven orders issued date back to March 20 at the earliest.

The orders were issued to:

  • Gold’s Gym on 36 Street NE in Calgary on March 20
  • Gold’s Gym on Country Hills Boulevard NE in Calgary on March 20
  • Koko FitClub North in Calgary on March 27
  • Ascension Fitness in Calgary on March 30
  • Kingsland Oriental Medical Massage Ltd. in Calgary on March 30
  • High Definition Fitness in Edmonton on March 26
  • Anytime Fitness Westmount in Edmonton on March 27

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AHS is investigating complaints and offering guidance, said Williamson, and enforces chief medical officer of health orders where necessary.

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The orders were issued because the businesses were still open to the public and each business was ordered to close immediately.

READ MORE: Premier Jason Kenney declares COVID-19 public health emergency in Alberta

On March 17, the province declared a public health emergency and banned Albertans from public places like casinos, bingo halls, theatres, children’s play centres, recreation centres and arenas, science centres, museums and art galleries, community centres, fitness facilities, and entertainment facilities like movie theatres.

RELATED: Alberta closes some non-essential business, prevents evictions as 542 COVID-19 cases confirmed

On March 27, the province ordered the closure of some non-essential businesses in a move to stop the spread of the coronavirus.

Kenney said last Wednesday that the government had made amendments to the procedures regulation under the Provincial Offences Procedures Act, to give community peace officers and police officers the authority to issue tickets to people violating public health orders.

READ MORE: Alberta ramping up enforcement of public health orders; number of confirmed COVID-19 cases climbs to 419

Kenney had said fines for violating an order could be as much as $1,000 per offence while courts will also be able to levy fines of up to $100,000 for a first offence and up to $500,000 for a subsequent offence for “more serious violations.”

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-with files from Allison Bench, Phil Heidenreich