Interior Health issued an order this afternoon that all fitness centres, gyms, yoga studios and similar personal training facilities, whether indoors or outdoors, must close today (Thursday, April 2).

“Gatherings of people at these facilities constitute close personal contact, which promotes the transmission and increased spread of COVID-19. Fitness centres and gyms are encouraged to adopt virtual training and support as an alternative to gatherings at facilities,” Interior Health said in a press release.

“We recognize that the owners and operators as well as staff of these facilities provide a valuable service to our communities and contribute to people’s mental and physical health and well-being, which is very important at this time,” said Dr. Sue Pollock, Interior Health’s chief medical health officer.

Valley Fitness Centre closed its doors in mid-March. When they closed, they offered some advice in a Facebook post that said: “Get out in this beautiful sunshine, keep your distance but don’t lose your sense of community, we are all in this together, just separately.”

Mountain Om Yoga and Wellness Studio’s website says: “Missing your yoga? We miss you! And would love your support. Join our online studio for live-stream classes!”

Endeavour Fitness had also gone online before the order came down. “While we wish we could see you in person, we are bringing you the next best thing: interactive classes through Zoom! Again, we truly appreciate your support with this, as running these virtual classes not only allows you to continue with your CrossFit routine, it allows us to reduce some of the stress that our amazing family and box are facing during this time,” they posted on Facebook.

The order for gyms to close will last until May 30, 2020 and may be extended.