By Sophia Lopez, November 17 2020 —
In effect starting Nov. 13, Alberta Health Services (AHS) has updated its targeted public health measures due to Alberta’s continuous increase of COVID-19 cases. In Calgary and other cities in Alberta, a temporary ban has been placed on indoor group fitness classes and team sports from Nov. 13–27. Another temporary ban was also placed on group singing, dancing and performing activities.
At the University of Calgary, several emails have been sent out to students recently indicating positive cases COVID-19 on campus and their infectious windows. In particular, Block A of the Kinesiology complex had been the site of exposure so often that Block A itself was closed from Nov. 8–10 in accordance with the University of Calgary’s response procedures. These procedures take place when there have been at least five or more positive cases identified in a single building over the period of one week. During this time the building is deep cleaned and disinfected.
In response to this, according to UCalgary Active Living, the Kinesiology complex will suspend or cancel all on-site group fitness programs, aquatic programs, and intramural sports for the next two weeks. The Fitness Centre however will remain open for students and those with fall passes. Active Living will continue to only allow visits to the Fitness Centre, Racquet Centre, Aquatics Centre, gymnasiums, or the Climbing/Bouldering Wall to anyone who is a part of a registered program. The Calgary gymnastics centre is temporarily closed, but the Cochrane gymnastics centre will continue to run its scheduled programs.
According to UCalgary’s mask policy, people are exempt from wearing a mask during certain activities, and one of those activities includes people participating in athletic or fitness activities. This exemption potentially leaves room for possible contact between people who aren’t protected by masks, therefore creating a greater chance for people to become possibly infected with COVID-19.
Although this exemption was made with the comfort of the athletes in mind, it seems that areas on the UCalgary campus have become hotspots for the highly contagious virus that has changed our lives drastically this year. Block A in the Kinesiology complex is home to the Fitness Studio, Dance Studio, Aquatic Centre and other facilities, some of which allow for the exemption of masks.
Public health officials hope that with the new targeted public health measures in place, the number of COVID-19 cases will diminish and indoor group fitness classes and team sports can start up again, along with group singing, dancing and performing activities.
It’s important to keep the UCalgary community informed about possible cases and infected areas. If you believe you have been exposed to the virus on or around campus, immediately isolate, complete the AHS self-assessment and get tested for COVID-19, and email firstname.lastname@example.org. For more information on isolation, mask policies, and overall guidance towards a safe experience on campus visit the UCalgary website.