Mega-Gym owner defends himself from sickbed as dozens of COVID-19 cases linked to establishment

The owner of the Quebec City fitness centre that has been linked to dozens of positive cases of COVID-19 says he had put in place measures beyond expectations to limit the transmission of the coronavirus, even though public health authorities have ordered the closure of his establishment.

In a Facebook post Thursday night, Mega-Gym owner Daniel Marino also confirmed that he himself has the disease, but is doing better.

Marino said that even though he questions the government's action plan, he has respected the sanitary measures from the beginning, first for the safety of his clients, but also out of obligation.

He asserted that before the closure, the Mega-Gym was supervised at all times, masks were worn, people were kept two metres apart, and there was cleaning and a gap between the machines.

Before ordering the closure of the Mega-Gym on Wednesday, the Quebec City public health department noted sanitary shortcomings, particularly with regard to controls at the entrance to the establishment and the distance between people.

In the middle of the week, 68 cases of coronavirus were associated with the Mega-Gym located on Saint-Jean-Baptiste Ave., in the west of Quebec City; this number had more than doubled at the end of the day, Thursday.

Quebec City Mayor Regis Labeaume was scathing earlier this week about the Mega-Gym, using the sarcastic phrase "bravo champion" and pointing out that people have nice biceps but the world is sick.

Marino wrote in his message that this was not the time to denounce merchants like him who are trying to keep their businesses alive.

-- this report by The Canadian Press was first published March 4, 2021.

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