Ontario Fitness Industry Awaits Coronavirus Protocol Review Results


Members of Ontario’s fitness industry say they are eagerly awaiting the outcome of a provincial review of COVID-19 protocols for gyms and similar facilities.The province’s deputy medical officer of health said this week that safety guidelines for gyms were being reviewed after a major outbreak of the novel coronavirus linked to a cycling studio in Hamilton.

Jason Sheridan, senior vice president of operations at GoodLife Fitness, said he and his colleagues at the Fitness Industry Council of Canada “would love the opportunity” to work with public health officials to create new guidelines.

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Ontario Considering Changing Gym Safety Protocols Due To Hamilton COVID-19 Outbreak

“We are very open to navigate this situation with them and support the direction that we are receiving from these medical experts based on an evidence-based approach,” Sheridan said.

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“We are open to hearing about the concerns surrounding gyms and coming up with solutions that would allow us to reopen.”

More than a quarter of active COVID-19 cases in Hamilton are linked to the SPINCO cycling studio outbreak.

The city’s public health unit said on Thursday that 47 positive cases were primary infections from the cycling studio, which recorded its first related case on October 5.

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According to Dr. Barbara Yaffe, the provincial deputy medical officer of health, the cycling studio followed all current provincial guidelines, but they were still not sufficient to prevent the outbreak. This sparked the current review, she said.

A spokesperson for the Department of Health said Thursday evening that there was no timetable for the completion of the review.

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Geoff Girvitz, director of Bang Fitness in downtown Toronto, said the province’s current guidelines put too much emphasis on how many people are in a fitness studio and how close they are.

“If all we’re thinking about is the risk factor in the context of aerosolized fluids, we can think, from a common sense point of view, how it’s going to flow, how it’s going to move through the air. piece, ”Girvitz said.

“I think it would be really helpful to have protocols based on density and airflow rather than an arbitrary number of people allowed in space… Right now all gyms are painted with the same brush, which is problematic on both sides of the continuum. ”

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Ontario fitness chains ask members of COVID-19 hotspots not to travel to other areas to train

Gyms in Toronto, Ottawa and Peel Region are currently closed as part of increased restrictions aimed at curbing the spread of COVID-19 in those areas. Gyms in other parts of the province continue to operate.

In the densely populated Greater Toronto Area, LA Fitness and GoodLife Fitness – two of the largest gym chains in Canada – have asked their customers not to travel from Toronto and Peel Region to open facilities in nearby areas. for training.

Sheridan said all GoodLife members in hot zone areas had their accounts frozen on October 10 and are not allowed to book workouts at clubs in surrounding areas.

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Premier Doug Ford spoke out Thursday against the practice of going to gyms outside the region.

“My friends, I just have to ask you to try and practice at home,” he said. “The big fitness clubs say they don’t want you to come there so I understand if you can try to work out at home. ”

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© 2020 The Canadian Press


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