B.C.’s top doctor is not planning to change public health orders around how fitness clubs operate in the province, despite a “very large outbreak” in an Ontario spin studio.
An outbreak linked to a Hamilton SpinCo, a chain of spin studios with five locations in B.C., has lead to at least 61 cases of COVID-19 after an asymptomatic person attended classes between Sept. 28 and Oct. 4. Dr. Elizabeth Richardson, Hamilton’s medical officer of health, said that up to 100 people could be exposed but stressed that the spin studio was following public health guidelines and best practices. All SpinCo locations check riders’ temperatures, sanitize equipment and enforce mask wearing and distancing until riders clip into spaced-out bikes.
Speaking at B.C.’s COVID-19 update Tuesday, Dr. Bonnie Henry said that although there was “quite a bit of transmission” in gyms prior to their closure this spring, since reopening there have only been “a couple of exposure events… we have not had a lot of transmission.”
She said that the province has closed down establishments that have led to uncontrolled transmission, such as banquet halls and nightclubs last month, but is not seeing a similar trend with fitness facilities.
Ontario has been hitting record high numbers of COVID-19 cases in recent days and weeks. Over the Thanksgiving long weekend (over four reporting periods), Ontario reported 2,923 COVID-19 cases and 13 deaths, while B.C. reported 549 cases and five deaths. The population of Ontario is roughly three times that of B.C.
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