All indoor gyms and fitness facilities must close immediately, says Fraser Health’s chief medical health officer, after the health authority found certain gyms not complying with social distancing and enhanced cleaning.
Dr. Martin Lavoie issued the order Wednesday, stating that these facilities must close immediately. It applies to “weight training, gymnastics, and martial arts facilities, yoga and dance studios, and other similar facilities,” the health authority stated.
The reason for the order, the authority stated, is that Dr. Lavoie has determined that using these facilities can promote the transmission of COVID-19 and then increase the risk of community spread of the virus.
Lavoie told Black Press Media most gyms have already closed on their own accord after bans on gatherings and guidelines on social distancing were announced by provincial officials. For gyms which had been identified as a concern, Lavoie said health officers made visits and handed them the order in person.
For gyms and other facilities now forced to close, the health authority encouraged them to use online classes to connect with their clients. The order is in place until May 31, yet Dr. Lavoie has the power to revise, cancel or extend the order.
On April 2, Interior Health issued a similar order which also applies to outdoor facilities. The Fraser Health order only applies to indoor facilities.
Provincial health authorities have not issued a similar order, although bans on personal service businesses and dine-in at restaurants remain in place.
Sarah Grochowski contributed reporting.