Gym and fitness centers in Alberta were allowed to reopen under step two of the relaunch plan. However, the provincial health minister says that the activities should be of low intensity. However, that announcement has led to confusion about what should constitute low-intensity activities.
Health Minister Tyler Shandro clarified on Tuesday that safe activities included those that did not raise individual breathing rates. Deena Hinshaw, Alberta chief medical officer of health added that physical activity is crucial to overall physical and mental health. He insisted that the province needed to reopen gym and fitness centers for individuals who are at lower risks.
Hinshaw added that the B.C. model of identifying low and high-intensity activities has been successful and should be emulated in Alberta. Since COVID-19 is spread through droplets, activities that make breathing faster and led to increased production of droplets put people at risk of infection.
Those attending gym and fitness facilities won’t be limited by number, rather, the physical distancing will require one meter apart protocols. The approach limits the number of attending gym and fitness centers according to the capacity.
The clients and the gym owner will have to decide which activities to avoid. Hinshaw added that people should follow the regulations for outdoor activities by distancing two meters apart and being not more than 10 people in a group. Penalties will also be issued for any violation.
As reopening continues in the province, on Tuesday Alberta announced 257 new cases of COVID-19. The province has also admitted 262 patients to the hospital including 54 in the intensive care unit. Alberta has also reported 35 cases of the new variants of COVID-19 in the last 24 hours.