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UPDATE: Outdoor and indoor adult team sports banned as B.C. battles surge in COVID cases

Youth sports will continue in a more restrictive phase

  • Dec. 3, 2020 12:00 a.m.

In a noon hour update from the B.C. government Thursday (Dec. 3), all outdoor team sports for adults are suspended as well, along with the indoor suspension announced Wednesday (Dec. 2)

At her Wednesday afternoon press conference, provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry said that all adult indoor team sports will be banned because they carry too high a risk of COVID-19 transmission.

“We do know that indoor group activities, whether it’s team activities or group fitness activities, are much higher risk right now,” Henry said. “It’s not because people are bad actors or not following guidance.”

She said the guidance that had been in place earlier was insufficient to keep people from spreading COVID-19 in some settings as case counts continue to mount. B.C. reported 834 new cases and 12 deaths due to the virus Wednesday.

“We are putting additional restrictions on adult team sports indoors as we are recognizing that these are higher risk activities as well,” Henry said. B.C.’s rules about sports have morphed over the weeks. What was initially a two-week ban on spin, hot yoga and high-intensity interval training (HIIT) moved province-wide in the middle of November.

As of Wednesday, the list of prohibited group fitness classes include hot yoga, spin, aerobics, bootcamp, dance classes, dance fitness, circuit training and high-intensity interval training, and anything else that “causes a sustained and accelerated rate of breathing and may involve close contact with other people.”

Per the provincial health order released Thursday, adult team sports that are banned are defined as “an organized and structured activity involving a number of participants.” This list includes basketball, cheerleading, combat sports, floor hockey, floor ringette, road hockey, ice hockey, ringette, netball, skating, soccer, curling, volleyball, indoor bowling, lawn bowling, lacrosse, hockey, ultimate, rugby, football, baseball and softball.

Lower intensity group fitness, defined as “activities do not cause a sustained and accelerated rate of breathing and do not involve close contact with other people,” include yoga, pilates, light weightlifting, adult dance classes, stretching or strengthening and Tai-Chi. These activities are suspended until guidance can be released.

Youth sports and extracurricular activities

Structured sport and exercise programs for kids and youth will be pushed back from phase three to phase two of ViaSports Return to Sport guidelines. Those guidelines include no travelling for sports competition or training, including short trips such as between Abbotsford and Chilliwack. The phase two youth rules include no spectators, minimal shared equipment (that must be sanitized before, during and after use) and no contact activities. Per the provincial government, “games, tournaments and competitions are temporarily suspended for teams.”

Structured extracurricular activities and programs for youth can operate with a COVID-19 safety plan in place and with adult supervision present. These activities include educational programs, music, art, dance, drama, recreational programs, outdoor fitness and social activities

However, performances, recitals and demonstrations are not allowed.

READ MORE: 834 new cases, 12 new COVID-19 deaths as B.C. works on immunization strategy

READ MORE: Hockey team brought COVID-19 back from Alberta, B.C. doctor says


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katya.slepian@bpdigital.ca

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