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'Gyms must close': Dr Henry doubles down on COVID-19 restrictions limiting indoor physical activity

The BC Government is cracking down on gyms that are choosing to stay open despite COVID-19 restrictions forcing them to shut down.

Dr. Bonnie Herny held a press conference with the latest news on the pandemic this morning, though most of the crucial information was delivered during the question and answer period.

One question that many reporters asked was why gyms were being shut down when places like malls, pools and sporting events could stay open with limited capacity. Henry doubled down on her restrictions put in place at the start of the week, stating "gyms must close."

"Gyms must close during this period," said Henry. "There are things that we can do, and my gym does it very well, to connect people, to be able to support us having that physical activity remotely."

"I want to say that I met with some of the representatives in the fitness and gym industry yesterday and they have been leading in making sure that we can do things as safely as possible. Right now, we're in a place of real uncertainty with a lot of transmission in younger people and the demographic that really is connected to their gyms. So they must, right now, stop that."

Henry explained that gyms were closed mostly due to how much humans exert and breathe heavily during workouts. Pairing that with the fact that it is an indoor activity led to the shutdown.

"It's very much trying to find the balance of the highest risk activities. Yes, movie theatres were at a higher risk and we have now tried to address those. We know that seated events, when you're not exerting, and right now, one of the reasons why I've been focusing on those areas that are indoor where we're exerting, so gyms being a classic example, is that we are seeing a lot of transmissions now through the very small droplets and aerosols."

"The measures we had in place that were working for Delta, for the other variants that we've seen, are just not enough at the moment."

Numerous gyms in the Interior have chosen to stay open despite the ruling. The province noted that anyone who believes a gym is operating illegally should contact their local by-law.

Henry went on to encourage residents to find other ways to be active. She urged people to exercise outdoors to allow for the least amount of transmission.

"Right now, what we are seeing is that this is passing so quickly in those indoor environments, even when we have lots of space and we've been doing everything right."



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