Provincial Governments Close Gyms in Ontario, Quebec Hotspots as COVID-19 Cases Rise

Provincial Governments Close Gyms in Ontario, Quebec Hotspots as COVID-19 Cases Rise

By FitBizWeekly Staff

Ontario Premier Doug Ford moved Ottawa, Toronto and Peel region to a ‘modified’ stage 2 on Saturday after the province reported a record 939 COVID-19 cases.

 

All indoor fitness facilities and studios will be required to close for 28 days, however outdoor training will continue to be permitted but limited to 25 participants. Team sports will be limited to training sessions. Schools and places of worship will continue to remain open.

 

Ford also directed the closure of indoor dining at restaurants and bars along with casinos, bingo halls and movie theatres.

 

“All trends are going in the wrong direction, left unchecked we risk worst-case scenarios,” said Ford.

 

Acknowledging the challenges  business will face, the province introduced $300-million in additional support for affected businesses, including waiving provincial and property tax bills as well as hydro and natural gas bills.

 
47 cases linked to Hamilton Spin Studio
 
An outbreak at Spinco in Hamilton, Ontario was widely reported in Canadian and US media last week.

 

In an Instagram post, the company indicated the start of the spread occurred on September 28 “amongst specific classes until October 5th.” The studio closed as soon as the outbreak was identified.

 

“As of today, everyone who has tested positive, are well. Our team, alongside Public Health has notified everyone. We have been following all the procedures set in place by public health. We have been in constant contact with our riders and we will continue to do so, if not daily, then every few days, with updates.”

 

In a CBC report, Dr. Elizabeth Richardson, Hamilton’s medical officer of health, said “In this case, we’ve been working with this operator, they’ve been great … We’re continuing to look at why did it happen in this circumstance given that they were following the guidance that is there.”

 
 
Fitness Industry Council of Canada (FIC) reiterated in a statement that all fitness facilities across Canada must remain vigilant with established health and safety protocols and ensure they are in compliance with local and provincial public health guidelines. The association will continue efforts to provide input to federal and provincial government decision makers on safe reopenings and providing relief to facilities that have been forced to closed.
 
Quebec Closures
 

In Quebec, hotspots in the province remain in “Zone Rouge” or Level 2 since October 8th, including Montreal and surrounding areas, Quebec City and surrounding areas, the Outaouais region and most recently the addition of the area of Trois-Rivières.

 

“In these zones, all health and fitness facilities are closed, and no group training or personal training is permitted indoors or outdoors. Businesses can only rely on virtual training for income at this time. Sports centres are permitted to remain open for individual sports but not the fitness facilities within them,” said Samantha Goodman, QC Provincial Counsellor for FIC.

 

The shutdowns in Quebec will be re-evaluated on October 28.

 

“We look forward to continued discussion with the Quebec ministers in order to support the valued members of FIC,” adds Goodman.

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