A Vancouver spin club said all of its Vancouver studios are reopening this Saturday, November 14, despite Provincial Health Officer Dr. Bonnie Henry saying last week that she considered such settings to be “dangerous” sources of COVID-19 transmission.
On Instagram, RIDE Cycle Club Kitsilano said that Vancouver Coastal Health “has reviewed our RIDE SAFE protocols and has given us the go-ahead to reopen.”
And with the reopening, “we will continue to uphold the highest standards to keep our community as safe as possible.”
On November 7, Henry announced that all fitness studios that involve groups must shutter.
The province later clarified that “indoor group physical activities can only resume when the business has updated its COVID-19 safety plan and received plan approval from their local Medical Health Officer.”
The 14-page safety plan checklist provided by Vancouver Coastal Health requires studios to fill out multiple sections about their facilities what protocols they have put in place to resume safe operation.
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On its website, Ride Cycle Club has listed safety precautions and measures taken in each of its studios.
Measures include distancing protocols, a mask mandate for staff and riders (except when they are on bikes), and temperature checks prior to starting class.
Spin classes “where we need to pay attention”: Henry
During a press conference last week, Henry called indoor spin classes in Metro Vancouver “dangerous,” adding that “those are the types of situations where we need to pay attention to how much virus is in the community and what types of risks we’re potentially exposing ourselves to.”
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And while Henry admittedly has never been to a spin class herself, she noted she has seen them, and “there are bikes, people are sweating, there’s loud music, it’s an indoor space, people are breathing heavily, the instructor is shouting instructions.”
Province reports new record-breaking COVID-19 cases
On Friday, BC health officials reported a new, one-day record high of 617 new confirmed cases of COVID-19, bringing the total number of known cases in the province to 20,985.
In a written statement, Henry said that broken down by health region, the new cases amount to 130 in the Vancouver Coastal Health region, 424 in the Fraser Health region, 16 in the Island Health region, 42 in the Interior Health region, and five in the Northern Health region.
As it stands, there are 5,579 active cases of COVID-19 in the province and 167 individuals who are hospitalized with COVID-19, 50 of whom are in intensive care. The remaining people are recovering at home in self-isolation.
Currently, 12,016 people are under active public health monitoring as a result of identified exposure to known cases, and there have been two new COVID-19-related deaths, for a total of 290 deaths in British Columbia.
There are three new healthcare facility outbreaks at Sun Pointe Village, Capilano Care Centre and Fraserview Intermediate Care Lodge. The outbreaks at Queens Park Hospital, Lakeview Care Centre, Yaletown House, and St. Michael’s Centre are now over. In total, 35 long-term care or assisted-living facilities and six acute-care facilities have active outbreaks.
A total of 14,901 people who tested positive have now recovered.
“As yesterday’s modelling update clearly showed, this is a critical time for everyone in our province,” said Henry. “We need to act now to protect our loved ones, our elders and our communities.”