As BC continues to grapple with high COVID-19 case numbers, Provincial Health Officer Dr. Bonnie Henry has announced further restrictions on indoor gatherings – specifically targeting indoor and outdoor team sports.
“By order of the PHO, restrictions are in place for adult and youth indoor and outdoor team sports. These temporary restrictions are in place to limit the amount of physical interactions and travel to help reduce the spread of COVID-19,” says the BC Government on its website.
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Structured child and youth programs and sport are permitted, “but must meet and follow the ViaSport Phase 2 requirements.”
High-intensity group fitness activities including hot yoga, spin classes, aerobics, Bootcamp, circuit training, and high-intensity interval training must be suspended.
Low-intensity group fitness activities including: yoga, pilates, light weight lifting, adult dance classes, stretching or strengthening, must temporarily be suspended.
On Wednesday, Henry shared a “cautionary tale” about a BC hockey team that defied the health order and contracted COVID-19 on a trip to Alberta. The trip resulted in dozens of people being infected, including family and coworkers, upon their return home.
The orders come as health officials announced on Wednesday that 834 new test-positive COVID-19 cases were confirmed in the province, bringing the total number of recorded cases in the province to 34,728.
Broken down by health region, Henry said this equates to 174 new cases in the Vancouver Coastal Health region, 529 in the Fraser Health region, 20 in the Island Health region, 66 in the Interior Health region, and 45 in the Northern Health region.
There were 12 more deaths as well, bringing the provincial death toll to 469.
Currently, 10,201 people are under active public health monitoring as a result of identified exposure to known cases.
There are 337 individuals hospitalized with COVID-19, 79 of whom are in intensive care. The remaining people with COVID-19 are recovering at home in self-isolation.
Editor’s note: This article has been updated to reflect that both outdoor and indoor sports have been temporarily suspended in BC. A previous version of this article only stated indoor sports were banned.