COVID-19: West Kelowna gym defying public health regulations

Click to play video: 'West Kelowna gym defies Public Health Orders' West Kelowna gym defies Public Health Orders
West Kelowna gym defies Public Health Orders – Jan 3, 2022

Iron Energy Fitness Centre gym in West Kelowna has vowed to stay open despite the provincial health orders.

On Dec. 22 the province announced new measures that mandated closure of all fitness facilities until Jan 18. The measures were put in place in an effort to help curb rapidly growing COVID-19 case numbers.

The owners of Iron Energy Fitness, took to social media saying, “as owners we have followed all the safety procedures layed (sic) out by the powers that be, even when they didn’t make sense.”

Read more: ‘It is incredibly disappointing’: B.C. gyms to close under new COVID-19 regulations

Click to play video: 'Fitness industry impacted by new COVID restrictions' Fitness industry impacted by new COVID restrictions
Fitness industry impacted by new COVID restrictions – Dec 22, 2021

In a video, Brian Mark, co-owner of the gym, spoke to members about why the gym should stay open. Their argument is the gym is not only good for physical health but also mental health. The owners echo the frustration that other gyms have expressed.

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“Restaurants, cafes, and pubs are open. You can sit down and drink alcohol, and eat bad food, but you cannot exercise and work on your mental health,” said the Iron Energy Fitness post.

Support from several Iron Energy Fitness members has poured in for the centre to stay open.

Iron Energy joins a number of other gyms from the Interior that have decided to defy the public health regulations. Six Kamloops gyms have also vowed to stay open.

Read more: ‘Disappointed but not surprised’: B.C. businesses hit by latest COVID rules call for more support

B.C. Health Minister Adrian Dix addressed the organizations that have decided not to follow the guidelines during a press conference on Friday.

“Public health orders will be enforced, and I suggest that people follow them because they make us safer. These measures weren’t put in place because anyone wanted to shut anything down or to limit activity,” said Dix.

“There are things that we could do safely that in normal times are good for us that we can’t do right now because of the extraordinary explosion of cases of omicron.”

Dix also acknowledged the work that the fitness industry has done over the past year to stay safe but says enforcement action could be taken against people who choose to defy the orders.

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Global News has reached out to Iron Energy Fitness Centre for comment.

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