'Bravo champion': Authorities attack Méga-Fitness Gym as 171 now infected from outbreak

The COVID-19 outbreak at Méga-Fitness Gym in Quebec City is now responsible for 171 cases, said the city's health district on Monday.

It's a jump from the latest number, on Friday, when the outbreak was linked to 147 new cases.

About 20 workplaces are grappling with outbreaks linked to the gym, which has been closed since last Wednesday by public health officials after they saw serious breaches of health rules.

In a message posted on his Facebook page, the owner of the Mega-Fitness Gym, Dan Marino, said Thursday that his establishment had complied with sanitary measures, including the two-metre distance.

Marino himself is reportedly sick and was defending himself from his sickbed.

The mayor of Quebec City, Régis Labeaume, has attacked Mr. Marino on several forums in recent days.

At a press briefing last week, he exclaimed, "Bravo champion! Everyone has nice biceps, but everyone is sick."

On Wednesday, after the gym was shut down, Premier François Legault was asked if he was "mad" at the owner of the gym for causing so many cases.

Legault opted to focus on the guilt Marino should feel, saying he showed a lack of "solidarity" with fellow citizens and owed his apology to them, not to the authorities.

"I think it's not against, or between, him and me, it's between him and other citizens suffering from the bad decisions he took," said Legault.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published April 5, 2021, with files from CTV Montreal.

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