coronavirus goodlife

GoodLife Fitness is closing all of its gyms in Toronto due to COVID-19

Canada's largest gym chain has shuttered all 350+ of its locations across the country in light of mounting concerns over the 2019 novel coronavirus pandemic.

GoodLife Fitness founder and CEO David Patchell Evans announced the news in an email to members late Sunday night, writing that his team had "made the difficult but important decision" to close all GoodLife and Fit4Less clubs, effective immediately.

"Since the beginning of the COVID-19 outbreak, we have been carefully monitoring the progression of the virus and closely following the advice of Canada's public health authorities," wrote Evans in his announcement.

"We have followed their recommendations and have implemented numerous changes in our Clubs to focus on our highest priority—the health and safety of our Members, Associates and everyone in Canada."

With Canada's Chief Public Health Officer Dr. Theresa Tam officially raising the level of risk associated with the pandemic on Sunday to "serious," GoodLife — along with many other major public gathering spaces and places of business — felt it was time to take "bold action" to help reduce local transmission.

"Our window to flatten the curve of the epidemic is narrow," said Tam during a press conference on Sunday. "We all need to act now. COVID-19 is a serious public health threat."

As of Monday morning, there are 345 confirmed coronavirus patients in Canada — 177 of them in Ontario and 76 within Toronto.

Globally, 153,517 positive cases have been confirmed by the World Health Organization — more than 10,000 of them over the past 24 hours alone. A total of 5,735 deaths related to COVID-19 have now been recorded worldwide.

"Our purpose has always been to give every Canadian the opportunity to live a fit and healthy life. There is no moment in our history where that purpose is more important than today," said Evans of his company on Sunday.

"Like other businesses across the country, we are closing our doors to further limit the spread of this virus and to protect the most vulnerable in our community. It is the right thing to do.

GoodLife Fitness is now said to be working on "digital at-home fitness options" for its members and promises more information in the coming days.

All employees of the company who are without work due to the closure will continue to be paid for the next two weeks, according to Evans, while all member payments are being suspended as of Tuesday, March 17. Paid-in-full memberships will see their expiry dates extended for as long as the closure lasts.

"We look forward to reopening our doors as soon as possible and welcoming everyone back," says Evans. "In the meantime, take care of yourself and each other."

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