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Coronavirus: Interior Health orders immediate closure of fitness centres, similar facilities

Interior Health’s chief medical health officer says close contact can occur inside fitness centres and gyms, which promotes the transmission and increased spread of COVID-19.
Interior Health’s chief medical health officer says close contact can occur inside fitness centres and gyms, which promotes the transmission and increased spread of COVID-19. Global News

Looking to get a good sweat during the coronavirus pandemic? If you live in B.C.’s Southern Interior and haven’t already started working out at home, you’ll have to now.

On Thursday, Interior Health’s chief medical health officer issued an order closing all fitness centres, gyms, yoga studios, or similar personal training facilities, whether indoors or outdoors.

According to Interior Health, the chief medical health officer says close contact can occur in these facilities, which promotes the transmission and increased spread of COVID-19.

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“I have issued a medical health officer order that directs owners and operators of gyms, fitness centres, training and yoga studios, as well as other personal training facilities, within the Interior Health region to close their spaces immediately,” Dr. Sue Pollock said in a press release.

Pollock said this order was not ordered at one specific facility, adding, “we will not speak to cases connected to specific facilities unless we determine that there is a risk to the general public.”

Pollock added, “we recognize that the owners and operators, as well as staff of these facilities, provide a valuable service to our communities and contribute to people’s mental and physical health and well-being, which is very important at this time.”

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“Fitness centres and gyms are encouraged to adopt virtual training and support as an alternative to gatherings at facilities,” Interior Health said in a press release.

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Interior Health said the order will expire on May 30, though it’s subject to revision, cancellation or extension by a medical health officer.

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