Some fitness programs at Timms Community Centre in Langley City are on hold as safety protocols are re-examined. (Langley Advance Times files)

Some fitness programs at Timms Community Centre in Langley City are on hold as safety protocols are re-examined. (Langley Advance Times files)

City rec centres reconsider fitness spaces as new COVID restrictions hit

Several programs are on hold until at least Thursday

Langley City has shut down several rec programs temporarily in the face of new provincial health restrictions, but Langley Township has very little left to shut down.

“Currently we’ve shut down all of our fitness classes,” said Kim Hilton, director of Langley City’s recreation, culture, and community services.

The weight room at the Timms Community Centre is closed through Wednesday as well.

Some programs may start up again as early as Thursday, but that’s dependent on working with the local public health officer to make sure any programs still meet the new rules announced by Dr. Bonnie Henry on Saturday.

In a special press conference on the weekend, Henry, the province’s chief medical health officer, announced restrictions to a number of indoor and contact athletic activities, ranging from dance to team sports.

READ MORE: COVID cases still running high in southwest B.C.

In Langley City, facilities like the library are unaffected, and outdoor sports remain underway.

Hilton said capacity in areas like the weight room had already been reduced, and fitness classes had been moved to the Timms gym to give people more space to spread out.

A question about what programs might be affected in Langley Township was answered by a media relations spokesperson.

“Changes to any safety plans that have been previously approved by the EOC [Emergency Operations Centre] will not be undertaken until the actual public heath orders are issued and reviewed unless initiated by a user group,” the statement said.

“We’re still following the plan that we had,” Township Mayor Jack Froese explained.

There are very few programs left to close down in the Township, as most indoor rec centres, arenas, pools, fitness centres, gyms, and meeting rooms, are currently closed.

The arenas at the Aldergrove Credit Union Community Centre and the George Preston Recreation Centre are open for user groups only.

Outdoor facilities like ball diamonds, basketball courts, and BMX tracks remain open.

Some facilities have added new guidelines, or closed to the public but remain open to specific users, like the Fort Langley Canoe/Paddling dock.

Froese said that on Tuesday, he was to be on a conference call of B.C. mayors with Health Minister Adrian Dix and other provincial officials, and was expecting to hear more about pandemic issues.