Whib’s Gym in Enderby and Sicamous is recruiting volunteers among its members to take shifts monitoring for compliance with COVID-19 safety measures, a requirement for reopening under Interior Health’s new guidelines released May 15, 2020. (Google image)

COVID-19: North Okanagan gym needs volunteers in order to reopen

Gyms have been told they need staff members to monitor for compliance with COVID-19 safety measures

A fitness centre with locations in Enderby and Sicamous needs volunteers before it can reopen in accordance with COVID-19 safety measures.

Interior Health Authority ordered all gyms and fitness facilities to close in early April due to concerns of transmitting the novel coronavirus. That order was rescinded Friday, May 15, coupled with a list of guidelines for reopening fitness spaces in the region.

Among those guidelines is a requirement for a staff member to be present during hours of operation, a requirement that’s proven challenging for Whib’s Gym. Normally, Whib’s operates with little to no staff present, with members using a key fob to enter at their leisure.

“Unfortunately, Whib’s Gym does not have the resources to compensate full-time staff and would not be able to open due to this requirement,” said owner Mike Whibley in an email to members May 19.

Whibley said he had spoken to Interior Health, which said that bringing on volunteer staff is an acceptable means of filling the requirement.

The gym is hoping for enough volunteers to cover two-hour shifts during opening hours, which are currently from 5 a.m. to 10 p.m. Depending on the number of volunteers Whibley can recruit from his membership list, those hours could be shortened.

READ MORE: Vernon martial arts gym breaks through during COVID-19

“We may need to reduce the hours and just give people enough time to come in, but we’re hoping to give as many hours as possible,” Whibley told the Morning Star Thursday.

Volunteer duties at the gym include encouraging social distancing and use of wash stations and disinfectant after gym equipment use, disinfecting high touch points regularly and reporting non-compliance to Whib’s Gym management.

Provincial pandemic protocols have been subject to sudden change. Whibley received word from Interior Health about reopening on Friday, May 15, and has been rushing to get things in order since then.

“I’ve just been scrambling since then to see how we can meet the requirements,” he said. “My landlords have been very generous in helping me out to keep my expenses lower, but yeah, we’re just hoping we can get started up again soon so we can stop the bleeding.”

Whib’s Gym doesn’t yet have a set schedule for reopening; that level of planning will come after volunteers have been recruited.

“Although we haven’t ironed out all the details yet, if there are enough volunteers to cover shifts, and after they’ve been trained and scheduled, we will modify the fob access accordingly and make the hours publicly available.”

Meanwhile a couple of Vernon gyms are planning for reopening on June 1.

READ MORE: Feds expand criteria for emergency loans to include family businesses, contractors


Brendan Shykora
Reporter, Vernon Morning Star
Email me at Brendan.Shykora@vernonmorningstar.com
Follow us: Facebook | Twitter

CoronavirusFitness

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

UPDATE: Cops still on scene hours after dump truck, cyclist collide on Harvey Avenue

The woman sustained injuries to one of her legs, according to RCMP

Boaters asked to slow down, be respectful on regional lakes

Central Okanagan Emergency Operations Centre also reminded boaters physical distancing still applies on the water

Filming to resume safely later in June: Okanagan Film Commission

Film commissioner Jon Summerland said they want to start filming again later in June

Kelowna RCMP investigate woman’s sudden death

Criminality is not suspected at this time, according to RCMP

Undisclosed video evidence comes to light in West Kelowna murder trial

‘They’ve disclosed hundreds of pieces of evidence. Why would this have gotten missed?’ - defence lawyer

March dental conference key to many of B.C.’s COVID-19 cases

Early infections from China, Iran were quickly contained

Police seek help identifying person of interest in Salmon Arm arson investigation

A fire in a garage was extinguished but it is being treated as an arson.

Penticton Search and Rescue respond to six calls in less than a week

Two hikers rescued in early morning search near Greyback Lake latest in series of searches

Regional District of Kootenay Boundary rescinds all Grand Forks-area evacuation orders

Evacuation alerts for 1,136 Boundary properties remain in effect as officials monitor forecasts

MAP: Dr. Henry reveals which B.C. regions have seen most COVID-19 cases

B.C. health officials release a first look at how the novel coronavirus has reached all corners of the province

In photos: Modified, yet traditional graduation gives Penticton graduates a sense of normalcy

Students around Penticton take part in pre-recorded graduation ceremonies

Tla-o-qui-aht First Nation woman, 26, fatally shot by police in Edmundston, N.B.

Police were conducting a well-being check at the time of the incident

WATCH: Burned out car be gone thanks to Vernon dealership, ski resort

Bannister GM Vernon and SilverStar Mountain Resort team up in road cleanup

‘We either make a difference or we don’t’: Revelstoke teen leads protest in support of BLM

Revelstoke joined cities across the world protesting against racism and police brutality

Most Read