A Quebec City gym that was shut down by the health authorities after "a visit to the premises [...] revealed obvious sanitary shortcomings" has now been linked to 141 confirmed COVID-19 cases — up from 68 known cases earlier this week, CTV News reported.
Since then, the province has shut down non-essential businesses in the city — gyms included — and the owner, who contracted the virus, penned a long Facebook post defending himself after being called out by the mayor.
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"It's not indifference, it's total irresponsibility," said Quebec City Mayor Régis Labeaume in a March 31 press conference covered by Radio-Canada. "Bravo champion," he added, referencing the gym's owner, Dan Marino.
In a Facebook post published on April 1, Marino revealed that his health was "better," as he recovered from COVID-19.
"This is not the time to 'bash' merchants [...] who are trying to keep their businesses alive," Marino said, adding that he has "respected the sanitary measures since the beginning" but "can't reach zero risk no matter what action we take."
According to CBC News, Marino was a "vocal opponent of gym closures," reopening his gym in defiance of public health regulations last June.