Jayden Nohr, manager of Concrete Fitness, said there are legitimate safety concerns surrounding the latest public health order requiring gym patrons to wear masks while exercising. (Greg Sabatino photo - Williams Lake Tribune)

Jayden Nohr, manager of Concrete Fitness, said there are legitimate safety concerns surrounding the latest public health order requiring gym patrons to wear masks while exercising. (Greg Sabatino photo - Williams Lake Tribune)

Lakecity gyms, fitness facilities challenged by latest COVID-19 restrictions

Required masks while exercising posing difficulties for some

Fitness facilities in Williams Lake were scrambling to follow provincial health requirements last week after a new mask mandate appeared March 31 in the latest health update from government.

The latest restriction states: “Masks must be worn at all times including while exercising,” and also requires gym visits by appointment only, and for patrons to be three metres apart if movement is occurring.

As of March 29, fitness centres had also been forced to cancel group fitness classes, however, individual fitness training was still permitted without the use of a mask as long as patrons were appropriately spaced out.

The Cariboo Memorial Recreation Complex posted an update to its Facebook page and issued an e-mail to patrons earlier this month noting it would now be requiring all patrons to wear a face mask while using the fitness centre.

“We appreciate your continued cooperation as the Cariboo Memorial Recreation Complex maintains a safe environment for all patrons and staff,” the update stated.

Ian James, director of community services, said staff have been notifying guests of the policy change prior to them entering the fitness centre area. He noted the pool and arena are not impacted by the policy change.

READ MORE: Williams Lake fitness centres adapt amid new COVID-19 regulations

Fit City Athletica in Williams Lake, which operates as a 24-hour facility, has also amended its regulations.

“We hadn’t heard anything about this latest update,” said Fit City Athletica manager Kourtney Thompson. “So we’re following the latest and we have to respect that.”

The gym has also had to modify its 24-hour access to daytime-only use to accommodate mandatory appointments.

“Staff need to be present so we can monitor who is coming and going,” she said.

Thompson noted Fit City has extended its daytime hours to try to accommodate peak gym times from Monday to Friday, 8:30 a.m. to 9 p.m. and Saturday and Sunday from 10 a.m. until 4 p.m.

“So far people have been really, really understanding,” she said. “I just feel really bad for all of us. All the gyms in town are excellent.”

At Concrete Fitness, manager Jayden Nohr said they were also blindsided by the change in policy, adding they will be looking into how to handle bookings.

He said he does have safety concerns surrounding patrons wearing masks while exercising — especially while lifting heavy weights or those wishing to engage in higher-intensity workouts.

“I feel like we’re getting to the point of unsafe,” Nohr said. “So we have to look at what we’re going to do. There’s no spotting allowed now, either … we need spotters — we squat racks, we have a deadlift platform and benches. We’re meant for lifters.”

Kim Colgate, owner and trainer at Re4rm Fitness, added it’s utterly disheartening.

“We’re not set up as a gym. We’re functional training. We just recently completed our third renovation to comply with health orders and now all the renovations we did just won’t work because we just don’t have the room to space people out three metres again now that that’s changed,” Colgate said.

“I’m frustrated, and I guess I’m just going to hang out and do what I can.”

In response to the Tribune’s questions about mask safety while exercising, Ministry of Health Senior Public Affairs Officer for COVID-19 Marielle Tounsi said throughout the pandemic public health and government have made every effort to support businesses to remain open and operating safely when possible.

“To this end public health have developed requirements to allow for indoor exercise to continue, provided measures for preventing COVID-19 transmission are adhered to,” Tounsi said, noting following orders of B.C.’s provincial health officer, masks are required in many other indoor public settings and all retail stores — including sport or fitness facilities.

“Gyms and recreation facilities that offer individual workouts and personal training sessions can remain open as long as they have a COVID-19 safety plan that is strictly followed.”

The order issued March 29 by the Provincial Health Office was originally scheduled to be in effect until April 19, however, the order has since been extended into May.



Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

Just Posted

Talia McKay of Williams Lake is a burn survivor who remains grateful for the support she received from the Burn Fund (Monica Lamb-Yorski photo - Williams Lake Tribune)
’You have to allow yourself the grace to heal’: B.C. burn survivor reflects on her recovery

Learning how to stand straight and walk again was a feat said Williams Lake resident Talia McKay

As a former reporter and editor at the Tribune, Diana French carries on sharing her ideas through her weekly column. (Photo submitted)
FRENCH CONNECTION: Worth taking another look at hemp for paper production

Ninety years after being deemed illegal, few are afraid of marijauna

Ranch Musings columnist David Zirnhelt. (File photo)
RANCH MUSINGS: Milking cows and strangers on the premises

Cows in a milking barn may get upset if a stranger comes

Lake City Secondary School Grade 12 students Haroop Sandhu, from left, Amrit Binning and Cleary Manning are members of the school’s horticulture club. (Monica Lamb-Yorski photo - Williams Lake Tribune)
LCSS horticulture club a growing success

Aspiring gardeners at a Williams Lake secondary school are earning scholarship dollars… Continue reading

Jim Hilton pens a column on forestry each week for the Tribune.
FOREST INK: Plenty of changes happening in forest industry

A new process produces a biodegradable plastic-like product from wood waste powder

Daily confirmed COVID-19 cases reported to B.C. public health, seven-day rolling average in white, to May 12, 2021. (B.C. Centre for Disease Control)
B.C. preparing ‘Restart 2.0’ from COVID-19 as June approaches

Daily infections fall below 500 Friday, down to 387 in hospital

Cannabis bought in British Columbia (Ashley Wadhwani/Black Press Media)
Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

A vial of AstraZeneca vaccine is seen at a mass COVID-19 vaccination clinic in Calgary, Alta., Thursday, April 22, 2021. Dr. Ben Chan remembers hearing the preliminary reports back in March of blood clots appearing in a handful of European recipients of the Oxford-AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jeff McIntosh
Science on COVID, VITT constantly changing: A look at how doctors keep up

While VITT can represent challenges as a novel disorder, blood clots themselves are not new

Poached trees that were taken recently on Vancouver Island in the Mount Prevost area near Cowichan, B.C. are shown on Sunday, May 10, 2021. Big trees, small trees, dead trees, softwoods and hardwoods have all become valuable targets of tree poachers in British Columbia as timber prices hit record levels. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jen Osborne.
Tree poaching from public forests increasing in B.C. as lumber hits record prices

Prices for B.C. softwood lumber reached $1,600 for 1,000 board feet compared with about $300 a year ago

The warm weather means time for a camping trip, or at least an excursion into nature. How much do you know about camps and camping-related facts? (John Arendt - Summerland Review)
QUIZ: Are you ready to go camping?

How many camp and camping-related questions can you answer?

On Friday, May 14 at Meadow Gardens Golf Club in Pitt Meadows, Michael Caan joined a very elite club of golfers who have shot under 60 (Instagram)
Crowds at English Bay were blasted with a large beam of light from an RCMP Air-1 helicopter on Friday, May 14. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Marc Grandmaison
Police enlist RCMP helicopter to disperse thousands crowded on Vancouver beach

On Friday night, police were witness to ‘several thousand people staying well into the evening’

People shop in Chinatown in Vancouver on Friday, February 5, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
Vancouver community leaders call for action following 717% rise in anti-Asian hate crimes

‘The alarming rise of anti-Asian hate in Canada and south of the border shows Asians have not been fully accepted in North America,’ says Carol Lee

Sinikka Gay Elliott was reported missing on Salt Spring Island on Wednesday, May 12. (Courtesty Salt Spring RCMP)
Body of UBC professor found on Salt Spring Island, no foul play suspected

Sinikka Elliott taught sociology at the university

Most Read