The City of Delta suspended the business licence of Bikram Yoga Delta on Thursday, March 19 after the owner refused to cancel classes for the duration of the COVID-19 pandemic. (James Smith photo)

The City of Delta suspended the business licence of Bikram Yoga Delta on Thursday, March 19 after the owner refused to cancel classes for the duration of the COVID-19 pandemic. (James Smith photo)

B.C. city suspends business licence of studio claiming hot yoga kills COVID-19

City pulled Bikram Yoga Delta’s licence after owner refused to cancel classes amid coronavirus outbreak

A North Delta yoga studio has had its business licence suspended after the city received complaints the business wasn’t taking the COVID-19 pandemic seriously.

The City of Delta’s bylaw enforcement department received numerous complaints after an email from Bikram Yoga Delta to its clients claiming the novel coronavirus “cannot survive in the heat” in the studio made the rounds on social media, sparking outrage among many North Delta residents.

The email opened by thanking everyone who was still attending classes at the studio — where people perform a series of 26 yoga postures and 2 breathing exercises over 90 minutes in a room heated to 40 C — before making a series of claims about the benefits of continuing to practice hot yoga during the COVID-19 pandemic.

“Fact — This supposed virus cannot survive in the heat,” the email reads, before going on to say that “Bikram Hot Yoga is the best way to keep your immune system healthy and/or best way to build and improve your immune system to fight flu’s (sic), colds, bacteria and viruses.”

The email goes on to say the “drastic slowdown in attendance by everyone being paralized (sic) into a fear state of mind” means the studio will be reducing classes “until the worldwide non-sense subsides.”

On Thursday, March 19, the City of Delta declared a local state of emergency in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. The move enable Mayor George Harvie to enact powers necessary to enforce the Provincial Health Officer’s verbal order to limit public gatherings and practice social distancing.

In a press release, the city said it would be taking immediate actions against any businesses that refuse to abide by the Provincial Health Officer’s directions, including closing the business and suspending its business licence.

“These are challenging times for residents and businesses in our community. By declaring a local state of emergency, we have additional abilities to protect the community. I have asked our bylaws department to enforce closures on some businesses that are not following the direction of our Provincial Health Officer Dr. Bonnie Henry,” Harvie said in a statement Thursday afternoon.

“I continue to work with all of council, staff, and senior government officials to protect this community from the impact of COVID-19.”

READ MORE: Delta declares local state of emergency amid COVID-19 outbreak (March 19, 2020)

That same afternoon, Delta bylaw inspectors following up on the public’s complaints visited Bikram Yoga Delta, finding a class in progress.

“The owner indicated he was planning to hold another class later in the day and was not prepared to voluntarily comply with a request to cancel classes in light of the state of emergency related to the spread of a potentially deadly virus,” Hugh Davies, manager of property use and compliance with the City of Delta, said in an email.

“Mayor Harvie, acting in the interest of the community and under the authority of the emergency provincial program, directed bylaw inspectors to revisit the business and suspend the current Delta business licence. The business licence was subsequently suspended and the owner was provided with written notice.

“The owner did co-operate and comply with the suspension, and the evening class was cancelled.”

Asked about the email’s claims during her daily press briefing on Thursday, March 19, Provincial Health Officer Dr. Bonnie Henry debunked the notion that the heat in the studio will kill the virus.

“Yoga studios are a place where people are sweating in close next to each other — at least the ones I go to — and that is a perfect environment to spread this virus if somebody is shedding this virus,” she said.

Henry said the claim probably stems from a misinterpretation of the science around the relationship some viruses have with the environment.

“Respiratory viruses like influenza, like some of the other coronaviruses that we’ve seen, tend to fade away when it gets warmer and we have increased amounts of ultraviolet light during the spring and summer time. So we don’t see influenza, it just disappears, as it were, around this time of year,” she said. “And that’s one of the things we’ve really been pushing is we need to save our system until at least influenza goes away, and if we’re lucky this coronavirus may fade as well, it may wane away in the coming weeks.

“We know that some other respiratory viruses do that and they’re sensitive to the heat in our environment and to ultraviolet light. But that’s not in a room or in an enclosed environment.”

Henry said UV light does work to eliminate some bacteria and viruses in health care settings, “but it’s very intense UV light for many hours, so that’s not an option.”

RELATED: B.C. records new COVID-19 death as number of cases rises to 271 (March 19, 2020)

SEE ALSO: COVID-19 precautions ‘not optional,’ B.C.’s Dr. Bonnie Henry warns (March 20, 2020)



editor@northdeltareporter.com

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

CoronavirusDelta

Just Posted

Emergency crews responded to the scene of a suspicious fire at the southeast corner of the OK Café in Vanderhoof Friday, June 11. The historic building is 101-year-olds. (BC RCMP photo)
OK Café in Vanderhoof alright after suspicious fire

Damage kept to a minimum by firefighters

A person receives a COVID-19 vaccine at a vaccination clinic run by Vancouver Coastal Health, in Richmond, B.C., Saturday, April 10, 2021. Northern Health confirmed it has the lowest vaccination rates amongst the province’s five regional health authorities. (THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward)
Vaccination rates in Vanderhoof, Fraser Lake, Fort St James well below provincial average

COVID-19 immunization clinics for youth 12+ coming up in Fort St. James

Steve McAdam (left) is studying substrate conditions in the Nechako River and how they impact sturgeon eggs. The work will help design habitat restoration measures, said McAdam. (Rebecca Dyok photo)
Sturgeon egg studies to help inform future habitat restoration

“It’s an interesting, challenging issue,” says Steve McAdam

Saik’uz First Nation Coun. Jasmine Thomas and Chief Priscilla Mueller speak about the need for addiction treatment facility near Vanderhoof, March 2021. (Aman Parhar/Omineca Express)
Vanderhoof addiction treatment centre tries again with ministry support

Agriculture minister insists she is not interfering in land commission

Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau participates in a plenary session at the G7 Summit in Carbis Bay, England on Friday June 11, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld
Canada donating 13M surplus COVID-19 vaccine doses to poor countries

Trudeau says the government will pay for 87 million shots to be distributed to poor countries

The BC Ferries website went down for a short while Monday morning following a provincial announcement that recreational travel between health authorities can resume Tuesday. (Black Press Media file photo)
BC Ferries’ website crashes in wake of provincial reopening announcement

Website back up now, recreational travel between health regions to resume as of Tuesday

The Kamloops Indian Residential School is photographed using a drone in Kamloops, B.C., Monday, June, 14, 2021. The remains of 215 children were discovered buried near the former school earlier this month. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
Communities grapple with what to do with former residential and day schools

Some tear them down as a tool to help healing, others repurpose them as tools for moving forward

FILE – Provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry talks about B.C.’s plan to restart the province during a press conference at Legislature in Victoria, Tuesday, May 25, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Chad Hipolito
B.C. officials watching U.K.’s Delta variant struggles, ‘may need to slow’ restart plan

Studies show that one dose of vaccine is only 33 per cent effective in preventing B.1.617.2 spread

RCMP Const. Shelby Patton is shown in this undated handout photo. RCMP say that Patton was hit by an allegedly stolen truck that he had pulled over on Saturday morning in Wolseley, east of Regina. THE CANADIAN PRESS/HO, RCMP
Pair charged in Saskatchewan Mountie’s death make first court appearance

Const. Shelby Patton was hit by an allegedly stolen truck that he had pulled over Saturday morning

David and Collet Stephan leave for a break during an appeal hearing in Calgary on Thursday, March 9, 2017. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Todd Korol
Appeal Court rejects stay for Alberta couple facing third trial in son’s death

Pair accused in their earlier trials of not seeking medical attention for their son sooner

Highway notices like this come down effective June 14. Public health restrictions on non-essential travel and commercial operation have hit local businesses in every corner of B.C. (B.C. government)
Province-wide travel back on in B.C.’s COVID-19 restart plan

Gathering changes include up to 50 people for outdoor events

Calgary Stampeders’ Jerome Messam leaps over a tackle during second half CFL western semifinal football action in Calgary, Sunday, Nov. 15, 2015.THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jeff McIntosh
CFL football will be played this summer in Canada

Governors vote unanimously in favour to start the ‘21 campaign on Aug. 5

Citizenship Minister Marco Mendicino holds a press conference in Ottawa on Thursday, Nov. 12, 2020. The federal government is announcing that Indigenous people can now apply to reclaim their names on passports and other government documents. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Sean Kilpatrick
Indigenous people can now reclaim traditional names on their passports and other ID

Announcement applies to all individuals of First Nations, Inuit and Métis background

Most Read