Lakeshore gym owner disagrees with new health unit policy
WINDSOR, ONT. -- A local gym has taken issue with the health unit’s new notifications alerting residents to possible COVID-19 exposure.
The owner of Xanadu Health Club in Lakeshore says the public release is in “poor judgement” after the Windsor-Essex County Health Unit named the gym as a possible exposure site Sunday.
“The statement released appears to be vindictive and singles out Xanadu further jeopardizing our ability to remain in business during this difficult time for the fitness industry,” an emailed statement from CEO David Schild to CTV News reads.
The health unit issued two news releases over the weekend naming businesses, including Xanadu, where patrons or employees who have tested positive for COVID-19 may have been in contact with the public.
The statement from the gym says management was advised by a member on Saturday that the individual had tested positive for COVID-19. The statement says Schild left a message with the health unit to figure out next steps.
The gym was then closed for the day for deep-cleaning and managers reviewed camera footage of the COVID-positive member and were able to contact trace members and employees, and advise them to get tested.
So far, no other staff member or member has tested positive, the club says.
“I believe the health board should work with the business and not against. In this case, they worked against what we were trying to work with them and that can’t continue,” Schild told CTV News.
Xanadu maintains it has every safety measure in place to protect patrons including regular deep-cleaning, fresh-air exchange and physical distancing at all times.
“We’re literally doing everything we can to keep everybody safe in here, but we can’t help what happens outside the gym,” Xanadu manager Kirstie Kipp said. “We should not be blamed for it and that’s what’s happening right now. We’re the only place that is being named as a place this person has attended.”
In response, the health unit says its top priority is notifying the public as quickly as possible, in any case where public notification is needed for a potential exposure.
Marc Frey of the health unit says the actions taken by Xanadu to stop the spread of COVID-19 are greatly appreciated and were noted in their news release, but are not the focus of their notification system.