Lakeshore health club shuts down outdoor gym, one day after grand reopening

A Lakeshore health club that held an outdoor grand reopening this week has shut down its traditional outdoor gym, opting to provide customers with outdoor classes instead. 

The Xanadu Health Club on Monday welcomed fitness-lovers to an outdoor tent complete with turf, workout equipment, physical distancing markers and sanitization stations to prevent the spread of COVID-19. 

According to a Tuesday Facebook post, however, the facility is no longer providing outdoor gym space, "as the sharing of equipment is not permitted."

"Stay tuned for class schedules and times, we thank everyone for their patience as we try and adapt to the rules set out before us," reads an excerpt from the Facebook post. 

The outdoor gym originally had capacity for 70 people, though staff were going to ensure that fewer than 40 people would workout at a time. 

Xanadu's new outdoor classes will allow a maximum of nine people at a time. 

According to Ontario's Stage 2 reopening framework, personal physical fitness trainers and sports trainers — outside of gyms — are able to resume providing personal services. 

Jason Viau/CBC

However, certain outdoor recreational facilities — including outdoor fitness equipment — is not permitted. 

Speaking at Tuesday's daily COVID-19 briefing, Windsor-Essex County Health Unit medical officer of health Dr. Wajid Ahmed clarified that equipment sharing is in violation of the Emergency Management and Civil Protection Act and "increases the risk of spreading COVID-19."

Ahmed said small groups fewer than 10 people are allowed to meet and exercise together, explaining that organized exercise under the umbrella of a gym or equipment-sharing is still prohibited. 

Speaking with CBC News on Monday, Xanadu sales manager Kirstie Kipp said the facility worked with the Lakeshore bylaw department, as well as OPP, to establish rules for the now-defunct outdoor gym.

"The government really hasn't let us know much of what we can and can't do," Kipp said. "So we had to call our local bylaw officers, local OPP and kind of figure out what our restrictions would be to move everything outdoors."

The local bylaw department told CBC News, however, they don't provide approvals for such instances, adding that Xanadu was told to seek guidance from the region's health unit.