Gyms eagerly await potential Monday reopening as Alberta logs 415 COVID-19 cases

Alberta’s cabinet committee on COVID-19 will meet Monday to discuss moving into the second stage.

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At least one Calgary gym is planning for a same-day reopening Monday if more COVID-19 restrictions are lifted.

The plans come as case positivity rates climb in Alberta.

In an email to members Friday, GoodLife announced it would tentatively reopen at 12:15 p.m. March 1 at all its Alberta locations.

The gym said they have not received any confirmation they will be allowed to reopen from the province but are preparing for the possibility of opening their doors Monday, the earliest day more public-health orders could be eased.

“GoodLife is fully committed to abiding by all government regulations,” the email said.

“In the event the Alberta government does not confirm we can reopen by 12:15 p.m. on Monday, we will delay our reopening until the new confirmed date/time.”

The gym did not immediately provide comment when reached Saturday.

In late January, Alberta outlined a phased approach to reopening based on a handful of key metrics, including hospitalization rates. At least three weeks must pass in between each stage.

The first stage eased rules around dining and children’s sports, and allowed one-on-one in-person fitness sessions.

Alberta’s cabinet committee on COVID-19 will meet Monday to discuss moving into the second stage, lifting some restrictions around gyms, retailers, hotels, conference centres, banquet halls and community halls. The stage requires concurrent hospitalizations in Alberta to remain below 450; as of Saturday, there are 262.

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Chief medical officer of health Dr. Deena Hinshaw clarified earlier this week restrictions on businesses could be relaxed the same day they are announced, despite a previous pledge to give businesses one week to prepare before easing measures.

Brett Marshall, owner of CrossFit Calgary, said he’d be closely watching Monday to see if restrictions change, but he hasn’t outlined a date for possible reopening to members.

“The last thing I’m doing is getting my members’ expectations and hopes up just to dash them. When the government says we can open, within 60 minutes all our members will know, and we’ll be literally ready to go the following day,” Marshall said.

Current measures for indoor fitness, which allow scheduled, one-on-one training sessions, are insufficient for keeping gyms in business, Marshall said, saying his staff were eager to return to work.

Speaking Friday, Alberta Health Minister Tyler Shandro said current COVID-19 trends likely support further relaxing restrictions.

He warned officials needed to review the last week of data, however, and said even activities on the stage-two list will still have some restrictions if the province goes ahead with its relaunch.

Cases

Another 415 new cases of COVID-19 were tallied in Alberta Saturday.

They come from 7,761 tests, representing a 5.3 per cent positivity rate. It’s the highest rate in Alberta since Jan. 30 and well above the seven-day average positivity rate of 4.4 per cent, a value that has risen over the last two weeks after charting a steady decline since the start of the new year.

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Six more deaths from the virus were reported in Alberta, including three in the Alberta Health Services Calgary zone. The province’s toll from COVID-19 sits at 1,883.

Active cases continued a lengthy plateau Saturday. There are now 4,546 active infections in Alberta, up from 4,505 the day before. Thirty more cases of the B.1.1.7 variant first detected in the United Kingdom were found, bringing Alberta’s variant count to 401.

There are now 262 Albertans in hospital with COVID-19, with 51 of them in intensive-care units. It marks a decrease from 269 hospitalizations and 55 ICU admissions Friday. 

The province administered another 11,396 jabs by end-of-day Friday, the second-highest single-day mark ever, bringing their total shots given to 218,696. In total, 85,442 Albertans are fully immunized with two shots of vaccine.

Through Friday, 3.9 per cent of Alberta adults have received at least one dose of COVID-19 vaccine. Canada’s three approved vaccines are not authorized for use in children or adolescents.

jherring@postmedia.com

Twitter: @jasonfherring

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