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VIDEO: West Kelowna gym remains open despite orders to close

Iron Energy Gym in West Kelowna re-iterated on Monday that it will not willingly close its doors.

The gym remains open in defiance of a public health order.

"If it comes with fines, if it comes with a forced shutdown we'll deal with that when it comes down to it, " said co-owner Cole DaSilva.

DaSilva said gyms have been unfairly singled-out. "It's become very apparent," he said, "that gyms are being treated in a certain way."

"It doesn't really make sense that you have malls and restaurants open to a certain capacity, but you're closing down the one place that literally helps people work on their physical and mental health."

"It doesn't make sense anymore," added fellow owner Kirsten Mark. "I can go to the mall right now and be arm to arm with somebody ordering a burger, but I can't go into a gym where I'm six feet apart."

Indoor adult exercise facilities were ordered closed as of Dec. 23.

<who>Photo credit: KelownaNow </who>

The provincial order came down a few days earlier in an effort to try to stay ahead of the spread of the new Omicron variant of COVID-19.

“If we don’t take measures based on what we do know," said Provincial Health Officer Bonnie Henry as she announced the measure Dec. 21, "it could be too late to prevent something catastrophic.”

Gyms were ordered closed along with bars, nightclubs and other indoor organized gatherings.

But many gyms around the province are staying open in defiance of the order and a petition is circulating around the province demanding the order be reversed.

Iron Energy made it clear it would be remaining open in an Instagram post Friday.

"Every gym has complied, followed the rules, implemented the mandates and did everything they were supposed to and they just keep getting shut down," argued DaSilva.

"We're doing this for our members. We're doing this for the 13 hundred people that we have at this gym who literally use this as their therapy."

<who>Photo credit: KelownaNow </who>

DaSilva and Mark said the vast majority of their membership are fully supportive of the stance the gym is taking.

"We're not saying that COVID isn't a thing," added DaSilva. "But this is the place that helps you work on your health and make sure that you don't get it."

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