Well-known gym chain GoodLife Fitness is closing all its locations across Canada effective immediately in an effort to prevent the spread of the novel coronavirus.
“As the virus continues to spread in communities across Canada we have made the difficult but important decision to close all GoodLife Fitness Clubs across Canada, effective immediately,” said a statement posted online Sunday night.
The company says it will continue to pay its workers for the next two weeks to “help lessen the financial burden of this tremendous change.”
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As of Tuesday March 17, member payments will be suspended. Memberships that have been paid in full will be frozen, with expiry dates pushed back.
It is unclear when the company plans on reopening.
“We look forward to reopening our doors as soon as possible and welcoming everyone back,” the company said.
In the meantime, it is working on “digital at-home fitness options” for its members.
With more than 300 locations across Canada, GoodLife Fitness has a dedicated section on its website with frequently asked questions regarding the novel coronavirus, outlining what it was doing to prevent its spread, as well as what could potentially happen should a case of the virus be traced back to one of its gyms.
Earlier on Sunday, Canada’s chief public health officer Dr. Theresa Tam said at least 313 Canadians have been diagnosed with COVID-19, with cases confirmed or presumed in each of the 10 provinces.
She also said that Canadians need to take “strong action” to prevent the virus from spreading.
“With cases rapidly increasing in Canada, particularly in British Columbia, Ontario and Alberta, our window to flatten the curve of the epidemic is narrow,” Tam said, adding that COVID-19 is “a serious public health threat.”
— With files by Global News reporters Kerri Breen, David Lao