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 That order was rescinded Friday, May 15, coupled with a list of guidelines for reopening fitness spaces in the region.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

Revelstoke, North Okanagan RCMP team up to nab Alberta man, stolen BMW

Helicopter, dogs used in North Okanagan highway arrest

Salmon Arm West bridge construction expected to begin in fall 2020

Budget for Highway 1 project up $20 million over intial 2016 estimate

No active confirmed COVID-19 cases in Interior Health: BCCDC

Numbers from the BCCDC’s dashboard show 193 of the 195 COVID-19 cases in the region have recovered

Refugee family assists former hosts in effort to stop rising water of Shuswap Lake

Alahmad family spend morning filling sandbags to help protect residences

Morning Start: Before Rosa Parks, there was Claudette Colvin

Your morning start for Thursday, June 4, 2020

22 new COVID-19 test-positives, one death following days of low case counts in B.C.

Health officials urged British Columbians to ‘stand together while staying apart’

Seniors to receive up to $500 in promised COVID-19 emergency aid in early July

The Liberal government first promised the extra help in mid-May, but had to create a new system to deliver the aid

Kamloops holds Black Lives Matter rally despite cancellation of protest

Organizers announced cancellation of the event after receiving criticism on social media

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

Vernon Walmart staffer finds $7K lost by Enderby business owner

Entrepreneur elated after Walmart worker, who lost his own business to COVID, returned lost deposit

Summerland council to continue online meetings

Virtual meetings remain to comply with COVID-19 restrictions

Penticton RCMP arrest man found ‘unlawfully in home’

Police are asking anyone with information to contact them

Summerland not considering allowing alcohol in public spaces

Penticton and North Vancouver have both passed bylaws to relax alcohol consumption rules

Most Read