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 That order was rescinded Friday, May 15, coupled with a list of guidelines for reopening fitness spaces in the region.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

Comments are closed

Just Posted

Public shows support for alcohol in outdoor spaces: City of Penticton

City council will vote on whether to continue allowing public consumption, on Tuesday, July 7

Princeton RCMP arrest suspects in violent Salmon Arm home invasion

Two men who allegedly staged a violent home invasion in Salmon Arm… Continue reading

Interior Health will not expand Police and Crisis Team

Southeast Division Chief Superintendent Brad Haugli asked IH to expand the program

Haze over Okanagan and Shuswap skies may have drifted from Siberia

Few active wildifres so far this summer in B.C.

Community Foundation of South Okanagan Similkameen funding applications accepted until July 24

Emergency Community Support Funding available to organizations within the region

13 new B.C. COVID-19 cases, Langley Lodge outbreak ends

Health care outbreaks down to four, 162 cases active

Okanagan Realtors donate big to North Westside fire department

Two Kelowna-area Realtors made a generous donation to the North Westside Fire… Continue reading

SilverStar security recovers stolen bike

Reminders to residents to keep bicycles locked up, eyes open for suspicious activity

‘Justice for Mona’ protests planned in Kelowna, Lower Mainland

Security camera footage shows Mona Wang being dragged, stepped on during RCMP wellness check

Orphaned Okanagan beavers admitted to rehab centre

The two beavers are in the care of the Fawcett Family Wildlife Health Centre

Intent of killing at centre of Surrey man’s Okanagan murder trial

B.C. Supreme Court Justice Allison Beames is anticipated to return with her decision in August

Kelowna neighbourhood pond dries up again

The RDCO filled up the pond on Hall Road but it’s drying up again

Penticton RCMP seek help locating missing woman

25-year-old Iesha Blomquist was reported missing to Penticton RCMP on June 30

Most Read