Local Gyms Express Concerns Over Pace Of Easing COVID-19 Restrictions For Facilities

The owners of Fort McMurray’s fitness facilities are banding together to share concerns over the slow process of easing COVID-19 restrictions.

Step One of the province’s plans to lift some of the measures got underway on Monday which includes allowing gyms and training centres to partially reopen.

These facilities are allowed to conduct one-on-one sessions as long as they stay three metres apart.

Rosa Trueman, Co-Owner of Crude Strength, tells Mix News this does little to help gyms and their members.

“Just wondering why a restaurant can operate with 20 patrons or more per waiter, I know there are other support staff there, and gyms are expected to have this one-to-one ratio.”

According to Save Fitness Alberta, a movement created by centres across Alberta, there have only been 147 known cases linked to gyms.

As of February 8, there have been over 1,700 cases in the community with none reportedly coming from any fitness facility.

“When you look at my club alone, from June to November I’ve had 8,000 check-ins with my members and we had no transmission and the same with all the gyms in Fort McMurray,” added Judy Dredge, Owner of 9 Round Fitness.

Some of the frustration also stems from certain regions having to wait for others despite their numbers being manageable on the local health system.

Dr. Deena Hinshaw, Alberta’s Chief Medical Officer of Health, has claimed a regional approach to easing restrictions isn’t the best approach as it could lead to a high amount of traffic entering these communities from places still under health orders.

However, Trueman believes this isn’t the case for northern Alberta.

“It doesn’t really apply to Fort McMurray or somewhere like Grande Prairie, people aren’t going to drive five hours to go to the gym.”

Under the province’s reopening plan, fitness facilities will see restrictions eased again once step two gets underway. This won’t happen for at least three weeks as the GoA plans to wait weeks between each step.

As part of the Save Fitness Alberta movement, a petition has been created to allow gyms to start reopening while following all previous measures. So far, over 20,000 Albertans have signed.

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