Community flexes its muscles again, with tougher rules

Time to get moving as fitness facilities re-open

  • Updated restrictions for gyms
  • Keeping guests and staff safe

Gyms across the province opened their doors for business Thursday after a frustrating month of closure in light of the rapidly spreading Omicron variant of COVID-19.

Among the venues greeting guests was the city’s Parkinson Recreation Centre, although there are capacity restrictions in place with 20 people only allowed at any one time.

Some of the measures include: enhanced ventilation, no fans or heaters in the space, and proof of vaccination. Masks must always be worn, except while exercising. They also need to be worn when moving around the facility, such as circulating between various stations.

Community & Neighbourhood Services Manager for the city, Mariko Siggers, told Kelowna10 they are excited to finally welcome back guests as health and fitness is very important.

“We have a really wide group of users: from pre-school, through to adults and seniors, and all ranges of disabilities and various abilities as well,” she said. “I think people have just been looking forward to having this center back open so they can come here, and we can be part of their daily fitness routine.”

Siggers said while they’re eager to welcome everyone back, there will be some things guests should keep in mind.

“We are pre-booking workouts again, so we have a maximum capacity right now of 20 people, we have half of our cardio equipment is on rotation, so you’ll be naturally spaced out that way, and we’re asking all our members to give that two-meter distancing in between.”

She hoped having the gym active again will be another step towards getting people's regular lives back on track.

“I think people want to get back to a sense of normalcy and I think that having an outlet for your health and fitness is a big part of that as far as mental and physical health and that sense of community as well,” Siggers said.

B.C.’s top doctor announced the ending of the closures earlier this week, emphasizing why they'd needed to shut down last month.

“I know how important it is to have physical exercise for our mental health, our emotional health, for people who are in recovery from different injuries,” Dr. Bonnie Henry said at a Tuesday media briefing.

“With the demographic that we know that are going to gyms on a regular basis, we were seeing a lot of transmission in that age group in December when we needed to look at what restrictions needed to make a difference.”

Residents can go online to pre-book their workouts at the Parkinson Rec Centre or to check out a list of their programs.

Published 2022-01-20 by Connor Chan

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