Recreation facilities and gyms eager to reopen when the time is right

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No community transmission was linked to a YMCA facility as they operated at a lower capacity, with about 25,000 Calgarians attending one of the city’s eight facilities each week.

Lima-Coelho said it wasn’t easy to hear in December that gyms and recreation facilities would have to close and that closures would now be extended.

But the association has been able to transition well to a fully virtual presence in the meantime, offering fitness and art classes and other resources in an effort to promote well-being at home.

“The YMCA will still be here but we need people to take care of themselves now so they’re able to rejoin and reconnect with us when the time is right,” said Lima-Coelho.

YMCA Calgary has had to temporarily lay off a number of workers during the shutdown. However, the organization met its fundraising goal by the end of 2020 with the help of local philanthropists.

Gyms are among some of the hardest-hit businesses by the restrictions, alongside bars, salons and galleries, according to Scott Crockatt, a vice-president with the Business Council of Alberta.

“This is going to be even tougher on them,” he said.

Goodlife Fitness on Canyon Meadows Dr. SW remains closed as the province announced an extension to COVID-19 restrictions until Jan. 21. Thursday, Jan. 7, 2021. Photo by Brendan Miller/Postmedia

“I think there are a couple of windows of hope in the restrictions. In certain cases, it is actually preferable the government insist a certain type of business might close, because then those businesses can qualify for a higher level of rent subsidy, as much as 90 per cent from the federal government.”

Premier Jason Kenney said Thursday that he and Dr. Deena Hinshaw, Alberta’s chief medical officer of health, have always tried to balance the restrictions to consider the effects to people’s mental and physical health.

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