Gyms are open, but are they safe in the age of COVID-19? Here’s what you need to know

By | August 9, 2020

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What about masks?

In most regions, staff are required to wear masks, but they are not required while working out. In Alberta, Nova Scotia and Ontario, masks must be worn in between workouts and when entering and exiting the gym. In Saskatchewan, Prince Edward Island, Newfoundland and Labrador, New Brunswick, Manitoba and British Columbia masks are not required at fitness facilities. However, if you feel more comfortable in a mask, there is no harm in wearing one. Just start with a low intensity workout and see how you feel. You should be able to breathe comfortably. The standard rules for mask usage also apply: the mask should cover your nose and mouth, and if you touch the mask, wash your hands immediately. While non-medical masks do not provide the perfect seal necessary to keep the coronavirus out, they can still help reduce the spread of COVID-19, especially by asymptomatic carriers.

Have there been outbreaks?

Gyms have been open for months in some provinces, including Alberta, but, according to news reports, there has only been one outbreak linked to a fitness facility. At the end of July, a Calgary cycle studio became the epicentre of a COVID-19 outbreak. RIDE Cycle Calgary was linked to at least 42 cases, but Alberta Health Services have received at least three complaints about how that studio managed its classes. Bikes were reportedly too close together, trainers didn’t wear masks and multiple fans were used.

National Post, with files from The Canadian Press and Postmedia

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