VIU Mariners Athletics and Recreation has cancelled all activities until November 30, including intramurals, Outdoor Recreation, and weight room access.
The decision was a precautionary measure due to the surge of COVID-19 cases in BC, Danielle Hyde, the interim director of athletics and recreation, said in a letter emailed to VIU students on November 17.
“We believe this temporary closure will help us protect the health and safety of participants and minimize risk to those who need to be in the facility (including students who need to complete elements of their programs),” Hyde said.
The Mariners were trying to keep activities available for VIU students during the COVID-19 pandemic: providing online booking, reducing space for the weight room, and changing the usual intramural sports to ones better suited for social distancing. However, increasingly urgent warnings from the BC government about reducing social interactions to ward off the rise in cases convinced VIU it was time to shut things down.
For now, at least.
The Mariners have set the opening date at November 30. However, as things look now with new restrictions in place, it’s likely the suspension will be extended.
BC saw 516 new cases of COVID-19 on Friday, November 20—17 of which were in the Island Health region.
“Now is the time to stay small, stay local, and do your part—at home, work, school, and in your community,” the statement said.
Just a day after the Mariners announcement, the Pacific Western Athletic Association (PACWEST) announced the cancellation of basketball and volleyball sports for the 2021 Winter season.