Lockdown-defying gym linked to hundreds of COVID infections and one death
Weight lifting group working out crossfit gym (Shutterstock)

A gym in Quebec City that has defied lockdown orders during the COVID-19 pandemic has now been linked to hundreds of cases, including one death.

The CBC reports that the Canadian health officials believe the Mega Fitness Gym 24H in Quebec City served as a super-spreader center for the novel coronavirus in the weeks before it was officially shut down for defying pandemic restrictions.

"To date, there have been 224 people infected at the gym, and another 356 related cases involving outbreaks at 49 workplaces," reports the CBC. "A 40-year-old man who trained at the gym has died."

The gym's owner, a man named Dan Marino, has grown notorious in recent months for attacking pandemic restrictions, and has even written social media posts questioning the effectiveness of masks and downplaying the severity of the pandemic.

Before it was shut down, Marino's gym was in violation of multiple health orders, including mandating that patrons maintain social distance and requiring employees to wear protective gear.

Raymond Tellier, an infectious diseases specialist, medical microbiologist and associate medical professor at McGill University, tells CBC that the mass outbreak from one single gym was nothing less than "stunning."

"This is the kind of setting where if you don't have proper ventilation and if you have too much crowding, you could indeed have a superspreading event linked to aerosol," he said. "This one is remarkable."