Dr. Bonnie Henry has ordered indoor group physical activities to be shut down and this will include the City of Richmond’s indoor fitness and aquafit classes.
This is just one order announced by Dr. Henry on Saturday.
The orders came following several weeks of rising cases of COVID-19, especially in Vancouver Coastal Health (VCH) and Fraser Health regions (Richmond belongs to VCH).
Group physical activities, like spin classes, yoga classes and dance classes, are places where the virus has been known to be spreading, Dr. Henry said, so businesses, recreation centres and other organizations that operate these activities will have to cease until they have an updated plan, approved by the medical health officer.
“We’ve seen repeatedly – not just here but around the world – that these are venues where we see rapid spread of the virus,” Dr. Henry said.
Furthermore, social gatherings outside of immediate households are banned for two weeks and non-essential travel into these two health regions is discouraged.
These orders only affect VCH and Fraser Health, as this is where the highest number of cases have been found.
Sports games and tournaments are also suspended for two weeks, but practises can continue.
These orders, however, don’t affect schools.
Dr. Henry announced Saturday 567 new cases in the past 24 hours. This follows 589 new cases announced on Friday and rising numbers over the past couple weeks.
There are currently around 100 people in hospital and 31 in intensive care across the province.
According to BC Centre of Disease Control data, released on Thursday, there were 37 new cases of COVID-19 detected in Richmond in the past week.
City spokesperson Clay Adams said fitness and aquafit classes will be cancelled as of Sunday morning until further notice, but anyone registered for a class will get an automatic credit.
The new provincial orders go into effect Nov. 7 at 10 p.m. and stay in effect until Nov. 23 at 3 p.m.