A senior who took part in a fitness class at West Vancouver’s Seniors Activity Centre on Nov. 2 has tested positive for COVID-19, according to the municipality. Close contacts are being notified by health officials and certain areas of the seniors centre received extra cleaning, according a notice posted by the district.
The seniors’ activity centre remains open.
The news comes as provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry has announced a two-week period of greater restrictions in the Lower Mainland, including suspending all indoor group fitness programs until their COVID-19 safety protocols can be checked and approved.
Henry said Monday that group fitness “is an area where we have seen spread in multiple different settings,” both in the Lower Mainland and in other jurisdictions.
“This includes spin classes, yoga classes, group fitness, dance classes or other group indoor activities where people are increasing their heart rate, and we have seen repeatedly not just here, but around the world, that these are venues that we see rapid spread of this virus,” said Henry. “Even with people who don’t recognize that they are ill.”
Last week Henry referred to a spin class in B.C. where over 20 people were infected with COVID-19 and referred to such indoor group fitness classes as “dangerous.”
She added Monday a team is now examining scientific data from around the world.
Last month, the District of West Vancouver reported its first COVID-19 exposure in a community recreation fitness class, when a person who attended a fitness class at the West Vancouver Community Centre on Marine Drive Oct. 20 tested positive for COVID-19.
There have also been cases of COVID-19 reported in people who have attended private gyms and clubs on the North Shore.
Currently group fitness classes including yoga, spin classes, martial arts, boot camps, rehabilitation programs, badminton, table tennis, volleyball, basketball, pickleball, racquetball and gymnastics, swimming and skating lessons have been suspended at public recreation centres in North and West Vancouver.
School programs are not impacted by the public health orders.