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Club Pilates Coquitlam defies public health order by staying open

A Coquitlam fitness studio is defying a public health order by staying open and offering workouts during the rapid spread of the COVID-19 virus.

A Coquitlam fitness studio is being investigated by the City of Coquitlam and Fraser Health after receiving complaints that it is staying open and offering workouts, despite a public health order aimed at slowing the spread of the COVID-19 virus, the Tri-City News has learned.

Club Pilates Coquitlam, which is located in Sunwood Square, failed to return multiple News requests for comment about it being open since Dr. Bonnie Henry imposed the restrictions on Dec. 22.

But according to its website and various visits to the franchised outlet over the past two weeks, it continues to accept clients — and even has wait lists — despite the temporary ban.

Fraser Health said it’s following up on complaints that Club Pilates is operating in violation of the order for gatherings and events. 

“Our environmental health team has contacted the owner to inform them their business is not in compliance with the order and should be not be operating at this time,” wrote Fraser Health’s Dixon Tam in an email to the Tri-City News today (Monday).

“We are working with our partners to determine next steps if the business continues to not comply with the order.”

Officials with the City of Coquitlam said the legal and bylaw enforcement division has also logged public complaints. 

“We have been in contact with the operator to discuss the concerns expressed,” wrote Sean O’Melinn in an email to the Tri-City News on Jan. 7.

“Throughout the pandemic, the division has supported our enforcement partners at WorkSafeBC, the Fraser Health Authority, and the RCMP with respect to Public Health Orders (PHO) by providing information to businesses in the city and coordinating enforcement efforts when appropriate.”

Currently, as a result of the highly contagious Omicron variant, adult indoor individual and group fitness or exercise activities are banned until at least Jan. 18.

And businesses that violate the order can be fined $2,300 or be closed.

During this time, police can also recommend charges against repeat offenders and, if convicted, business owners can face penalties as high as $10,000 and/or a year in jail.

The province also states on its website that local governments can revoke businesses licences for operators who flout the law.

Coquitlam RCMP told the Tri-City News on Dec. 30 that it hadn’t received any complaints about Club Pilates being open, while WorkSafeBC also noted it hadn’t had any involvement with Club Pilates in recent months.

Iron Energy Fitness Centre gym in West Kelowna was in the spotlight recently for staying open.

Its co-owner, Brian Mark, stated that exercising it good for physical and mental health; the business has since been fined by the RCMP and ordered to close following an earlier warning from Interior Health.

B.C. Health Minister Adrian Dix said at a press conference this month that public health orders will be enforced.