Langford gym is first Island business affected by workplace closure order

A Langford gym has been ordered to close for at least 10 days after multiple people associated with the facility tested positive for COVID-19.

Club Phoenix Fitness is the first business in the Island Health region affected by a workplace closure order announced by provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry on April 8.

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The gym was ordered closed as of Monday, and members and staff are barred from entering the space, according to a letter from Island Health posted to Club Phoenix Fitness’s social media.

A second letter said public health officials have initiated contact tracing related to an exposure on April 12. People who are not contacted by public health are not required to self-isolate.

Owner Geoff Dawson said he received the closure notice Sunday and has not been given any information beyond what’s contained in the letters he’s shared online. He said he’s not aware of any of his staff testing positive.

The gym was following guidelines for operation outlined by the B.C. Centre for Disease Control and the Ministry of Health, including capacity limits, a mask-wearing requirement and physical-distancing measures, he said. The facility was inspected by an environmental health officer on Thursday, who found all safety precautions were in place, Dawson said.

Before the closure, Club Phoenix Fitness was open for individual training only. Indoor group fitness classes are not allowed under current provincial restrictions, but gyms can remain open for individual training. While the closure means he won’t generate any revenue for the next 10 days and staff won’t be working, Dawson said he’s trying to stay positive and plans to reopen when he’s allowed.

Under the province’s workplace order, a closure notice can be issued to a business when three or more staff or patrons test positive for the virus and transmission in the space is likely.

Due to privacy concerns, Island Health declined to provide information on how many people tested positive at Club Phoenix Fitness and how public health determined transmission was likely in the gym.

The likelihood of transmission in a workplace is assessed based on testing, information provided by people with confirmed cases about their activities and interactions, and information about the workplace itself, Island Health says on its website.

Workplaces ordered to close must remain shut for at least 10 days. Workplaces may remain closed beyond 10 days if more recent exposures are found or if public health can’t sufficiently assess the transmission risk.

During the closure, public health investigates the risk of transmission in the workplace and may gather information about staff and the business’s COVID-19 safety plan.

Island workplaces closed under the provincial order are posted to Island Health’s website along with their closure date.

regan-elliott@timescolonist.com

> Workplace closures list: islandhealth.ca/learn-about-health/ covid-19/workplace-closures

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