As of Thursday (Jan. 20), B.C. gyms and fitness centres reopened as part of an amendment to COVID-19 public health orders.
Port Coquitlam is following up on the new restrictions by beginning a gradual return to services at its city recreation facilities in allowing residents to return to gyms, weightrooms and related classes starting Monday (Jan. 24).
You can find information on Coquitlam and Port Moody programs at the bottom of the article.
B.C. provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry made the announcement Tuesday (Jan. 18), calling the change a “cautious step” after their proactive closure at the onset of the Omicron wave in late December.
"I know that many people felt that we were overreacting," she said during a news conference.
"And I've said this from the very beginning of the pandemic that our challenge and my challenge is to find that balance of making sure we're doing just enough to address the situations we're in and not not allowing our system to be overwhelmed."
At 4 p.m. today (Jan. 21), registration and an updated schedule is set to be available for fitness classes at both the Port Coquitlam Community Centre (PCCC) and Hyde Creek Recreation Centre.
Patrons can book up to seven days in advance, the city states in a news release.
City Recreation staff are currently reviewing the new Public Health Order and are actively working on plans for safely increasing services and re-opening our gyms.— City of Port Coquitlam (@CityofPoCo) January 20, 2022
The amended public health order for exercise and fitness lists the following:
- Capacity based on seven (7) square metres of floor space per person for both individual and group fitness and exercise classes
- In addition to floor space, all group fitness and exercise classes have a capacity limit of 25 people
- Masks worn at all times, except when actively exercising
- However, it's strongly encouraged to wear a mask at all times
- Must provide proof of double vaccination to participate
- ie. B.C. Vaccine Card for those aged 12 years and older
"If you plan to participate in one of our indoor fitness or sport programs or to spectate, please arrive early to allow time for the check-in process," the city advises.
"Seated events, such as spectators at arenas or swimming pools, will be at 50 per cent capacity and are required to show proof of vaccination. We kindly ask for your patience and understanding as we continue to work through the details."
PoCo rec centres also still require proof of double vaccination for the following activities:
- Sport activities and arena sports (22 and older)
- Indoor skating rinks (12 and older. Registered child and youth lessons are excluded)
- Swimming (12 and older)
- i.e., Public Swim, Aqua fit, Lane Swim
- All recreation programs except for people under 12 years of age or people 12 to 21 years of age participating in a program for children or youth
- Volunteers (12 and older)
- Coaches and referees
- Those assisting with child or youth sport or programs
- Parents and caregivers participating in a program with their child
- All spectators including those watching preschool, children and youth programs including ice skating lessons, swimming and hockey programs (applies to groups of any size)
As of this publication, Port Coquitlam's sub-region has a 90 per cent double-vaccination rate against COVID-19 among those aged 12 and up, and a 92 per cent first-dose average in the same age group.
As a whole, 33 per cent of eligible Tri-City residents 12 years and older have received a third dose of vaccine against COVID-19.
The PCCC is currently hosting an interim COVID-19 immunization clinic until tomorrow (Jan. 22) at 4 p.m.
For more information on Port Coquitlam recreation facilities, you can visit the city's website.
Coquitlam and Port Moody are also opening registration for fitness classes — indoors and outdoors — at their respective recreation facilities.
As well, the weight rooms opened this week under capacity and 75- to 80-minute time limits at City Centre Aquatic Complex, Poirier Sport and Leisure Complex and Port Moody Recreation Complex.
For more information and registration, you can visit each city's respective website.
- with a file from Colin Dacre, Castanet