Nova Scotia fitness business requests exemption to stay open amid COVID-19

The owner of a fitness facility in Halifax has written a letter to the province asking for an exemption to stay open out of concern for his clients.

a desktop computer sitting on top of a chair: Image of OneUp Fitness.

© Global/Ashley Fields
Image of OneUp Fitness.

The owner of OneUp Fitness, Matt Mombourquette, said what sets his facility apart from other commercial gyms is its small size, one-on-one, appointment based-training. Its average demographic is people aged 55 and up.

“A lot of our clients have chronic health conditions, such as osteoporosis, orthopedic pain, we have some clients with Parkinson’s disease, muscular dystrophy,” said Mombourquette.

So when the province announced a second round of lockdown for fitness facilities, Mombourquette said he was concerned for his aging clientele.

Read more: Nova Scotia reports 37 new cases of COVID-19, shuts down bars, gyms

Between the facility’s Halifax and Bedford studios, Mombourquette said, they see roughly 150 clients per week, but fewer than half took up virtual classes when their doors closed in March.

“When they came back and we opened our doors again in June, we could see a lot of deterioration. They shared that they had a lot of physical challenges; they felt weaker, and some of them had some depression,” he said.

This is when he decided to write the letter to see if there was “some wiggle room” that existed for their facility.

On Tuesday, Dr. Robert Strang, chief medial officer of Nova Scotia, said there will be no exceptions to the rule.

“Our goal is to remain very tight for the shortest time possible, and every time we give an exception it creates another opportunity for a breakthrough that might then be the reason why we have to extend,” Strang said.

Trail use has increased during the coronavirus pandemic



It’s a decision Mombourquette respects but says he’s frustrated by.

“I think everybody understands that exercise does have a big impact on positive immunity and keeping us safe from this current pandemic and potentially future ones,” he said.

One of Mombourquette’s clients is Jason Roth, a 70-year-old Halifax man, who has been coming to OneUp Fitness twice a week for the past 15 years. He tells Global News his health took a hit when the facility’s doors closed in March due to COVID-19.

“In terms of the sense of being in shape and fitness, I would say was about 50 per cent as effective as it had been,” said Roth.

He says he’s been to other, larger gyms and OneUp Fitness is different. He doesn’t believe it should be lumped into the same category.

“I’m not surrounded by a lot of people, equipment is immediately wiped down, people are in and people are out,” he said.

“That distinction between eating establishments and drive thru establishments, I think, would fit as a distinction between OneUp and the average gym.”

Fitness centre owner hoping to stay open amid COVID-19 closures



Roth said that if an exemption were to be granted, he would gladly

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NE China to open herbal medicine industrial park

(MENAFN) Northeast China’s Heilongjiang Province has exported an industrial park processing herbal medicines imported from Russia.

According to local officials, the industrial park in the Suifenhe sub-area of the Heilongjiang Pilot Free Trade Zone (FTZ) has seen the registration of six herbal medicine processing companies.

The park will have an annual medicine processing capacity of 165,000 tonnes, with an overall investment of 339 million yuan (about 51.46 million U.S. dollars),

A new policy allows herbal medicines, such as ginseng and licorice, from Russia to be processed in the Suifenhe area of the FTZ.

Imported drugs can be unloaded, primarily processed and sold directly in Suifenhe, thus helping companies reduce costs, said Wang Tengli, general manager of a local pharmaceutical trading company with an annual processing capacity of 2,000 tonnes.


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Top fitness executives are fighting to keep gyms open amid coronavirus

  • As of Thursday, four states — including Minnesota, New Mexico, Oregon, and Washington — re-issued state-mandated shutdowns requiring gyms to temporarily close to halt the spread of the virus.
  • In conversations with Business Insider, the chief executives of Life Time Fitness, Self Esteem Brands, and Retro Fitness make their case for leaving fitness centers open and explain why they believe closing them is a threat to public health. 
  • “If you look at a macro level, what’s frustrating to us is this country has a health problem and it’s not just COVID,” said Self Esteem Brands Chuck Runyon. “There is no better time for health officials around the country to remind people to take control of our health.”
  • Visit Business Insider’s homepage for more stories.

While the pandemic has put a damper on Thanksgiving plans for many Americans, rising coronavirus cases are also hindering traditional pre-feast fitness routines like annual turkey trot races and family gym outings. 

As of Thursday, four states — including Minnesota, New Mexico, Oregon, and Washington — re-issued state-mandated shutdowns requiring gyms to temporarily shutter to halt the spread of the virus. And while gyms in most states remain open for now, officials in regions like New York are enforcing earlier closing times and stricter capacity limits for fitness centers. 

The closures are sparking outcry and exacerbating existing feuds between gym owners and state officials regarding what types of businesses are permitted to remain open and determined essential. 

In conversations with Business Insider, the chief executives of Life Time Fitness, Self Esteem Brands, and Retro Fitness made their case for leaving fitness centers open and explain why they feel closing is a threat to public health. Here’s what they had to say. 

Gym owners push lawmakers for essential status 

Compounding the struggle for gym owners and consumers alike is a lack of conclusive data regarding exposure and infection rates at gyms, leaving many experts and policymakers at odds over the best course of action.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention maintains that “indoor spaces are more risky than outdoor spaces” and several reports found fitness centers — including a spin studio in Ontario, Canada and an indoor ice rink in Massachusetts — tied to several coronavirus outbreaks. Further, a recent analysis by Northwestern University found that gyms were among superspreader venues early in the virus, based on cellphone mobility data. 

Still, other studies — including a September report from the International Health, Racquet & Sportsclub Association — are reporting contrary findings that show low risk of infection at gyms. While IHRSA reported infection rates as low as .0023% across 2,873 fitness centers, The Washington Post reported that concerns have arisen over the methodology of the survey and conflicts of interest in its development. 

Regardless, gym owners are fighting tooth and nail to keep their facilities open, using any helpful data point to their advantage. 

Among the most vocal opponents of gym closures is Bahram Akradi, the founder and CEO of Life Time Fitness, a Minnesota-based company

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Which Gyms Are Open on Thanksgiving 2020? Planet Fitness, LA Fitness, Equinox Opening Hours

Some gyms are open on Thanksgiving, which this year falls on November 26. Here we look at the hours of operation at some major gyms across the country, including Crunch Fitness, Gold’s Gym and more.

Planet Fitness

Most Planet Fitness gyms are open 24 hours a day, seven days a week. Contact your local venue to confirm before visiting.

The fitness chain has implemented several safety measures amid the ongoing COVID-19 outbreak, including “requiring all members to wear masks while in-club so you can gym safely and confidently.

“Keep a safe distance by putting an imaginary treadmill, or two, between you and others,” the company noted.

Guests can also see how many people are at their local branch before visiting through the Planet Fitness mobile app. “Just open up the app and tap Crowd Meter to view how many members are there,” the company advises.

LA Fitness

Some LA Fitness locations have yet to resume operations amid the ongoing COVID-19 outbreak, while several have reopened. Some LA Fitness gyms have been on a reduced schedule on Thanksgiving in previous years, while some facilities have been closed. Contact your nearest venue to confirm Thanksgiving opening hours before visiting.


The hours of operation at Equinox over holidays, such as Thanksgiving, vary by location. Check your local branch to confirm opening and closing times before visiting.

Equinox gyms have also issued new safety guidelines amid the ongoing pandemic.

“Physical distancing of at least 6-to-10 feet, depending on local guidelines, between members and employees is required at all times. Please respect floor markings and any other visual cues that facilitate distancing at the front desk, in our locker rooms, studios, and other club areas.

“Mask requirements vary by local government mandates,” and guests are advised to check their local branch for details before visiting.

Guests are required to make a booking for their gym session before their visit using the Equinox mobile app, while some branches may require a temperature check.

See the Equinox website for more information.

Crunch Fitness

Some branches of Crunch Fitness are operating on reduced hours on Thanksgiving.

Crunch Fitness gyms have introduced several safety measures, including mask requirements for staff “alongside other PPE [personal protective equipment] if required by public health officials.

“We recommend members wear masks within the gym (unless mask wearing is required at all times by public health officials),” the company said.

Social distancing guidelines and enhanced disinfecting equipment have also been implemented, including the “airPHX clean air systems” which “uses atmospheric cold plasma to change a small percentage of the oxygen molecules in the air into a unique spectrum of oxidizing molecules that kill bacteria, viruses, and mold,” the company noted.

See the Crunch Fitness website to see the hours of operation and the specific safety guidelines issued at your nearest branch.

Anytime Fitness

Anytime Fitness gyms are usually open 24 hours a day, seven days a week, including on holidays such as Thanksgiving. Contact your local branch to confirm before visiting.

The fitness

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More Seniors Turn to The Silver&Fit Program During Medicare Open Enrollment for Broader Choices of Virtual Home Exercise and Fitness Solutions

The Silver&Fit program’s virtual, online home-based options and gym-based options are designed to accommodate all levels of fitness and workout preferences. Features include: 

  • 1,700+ Digital Fitness Videos. The Silver&Fit online video library provides a broad collection of workout options, allowing members to customize their own at-home exercise routines including cardio, strength, yoga, dance, Tai Chi, and many others.
  • At-Home Fitness Kits. For those who want to create or enhance their own workouts at home, the Silver&Fit program offers home fitness kits. Kits may include a yoga mat, resistance bands, dumbbells, or wearable fitness trackers.
  • Live Telephone Coaching. Members seeking help with fitness goals or lifestyle improvements can work with a live coach over the phone to obtain advice on fitness, social isolation, sleep, and other healthy living habits.
  • Access to Social and Community Connections. Silver&Fit members can browse information and links to more than 120,000 social organizations ranging from chess, painting, and classic car clubs, to nature organizations. This resource encourages members to join in on club video programs or socially distanced meetings to safely connect with other like-minded individuals.
  • In-Person Gym Access. As gyms are permitted to open, members who feel comfortable returning can use their subsidized gym benefit to get back on their fitness track. With the Silver&Fit program, seniors can choose from a nation-wide network of more than 15,000 fitness centers, YMCAs, and fitness studios.

For information about whether your Medicare plan includes the Silver&Fit program, contact your health plan or 1-800-MEDICARE. Visit for more information about the program.

About American Specialty Health Fitness, Inc. (ASH Fitness):
ASH Fitness, a subsidiary of American Specialty Health Incorporated (ASH), provides no-cost and low-cost fitness and exercise programs for Medicare beneficiaries and group retirees (through the Silver&Fit® program), and for commercial health plan members and employer groups (through the Active&Fit®, Active&Fit DirectTM, and ExerciseRewardsTM products). ASH is one of the nation’s premier independent and privately-owned specialty health services organizations. For more information, visit or call 800-848-3555. Follow us on LinkedIn or Twitter at @ASHCompanies.

About Silver&Fit’s Daily Free, Publicly Available Facebook Live and YouTube Workouts:
Silver&Fit also offers four daily free older-adult workouts for the public on Facebook Live or YouTube. Anyone can join these popular exercise classes tailored to the needs of older adults. These half-hour classes premiere Monday through Friday on Facebook Live and YouTube at 9 AM PT, 10 AM PT, 11 AM PT and Noon PT. Participants may also use the workout videos later, since they remain available on YouTube for two weeks after they premiere. Classes include cardio, yoga, strength, flexibility, and others taught at various levels, from beginner to intermediate to advanced. All classes are taught by certified instructors with experience creating classes. To participate in a free exercise class, follow Silver&Fit on Facebook at or view the classes at

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Salem gyms open, could face fines by defying Oregon COVID-19 orders


Dr. Esther Choo speaks on the dangers of medical facilities reaching capacity if Oregonians do not heed new restrictions imposed by Gov. Brown’s two-week freeze statewide.


Courthouse Club Fitness went forward with its promise to defy Oregon Gov. Kate Brown’s order for gyms to close on Wednesday, with all five of its locations open across Salem and Keizer. 

Flex Fitness, a family-owned gym on Commercial Street, also stayed open. 

Both gyms said they wouldn’t survive the economic hit of a second shutdown, but they could also end up facing major fines.  

Brown’s order required all gym and fitness centers to close as part of a two-week “freeze” aimed at slowing the spread of COVID-19, which has spiked in recent weeks. 

Any business willfully staying open, in defiance of the order, could face a minimum fine of $8,900 and maximum penalty of $126,749, according to the Oregon Occupational Safety and Health Administration, which enforces compliance. 

More: House speaker asks governor to declare ‘catastrophic disaster,’ call a special session

Staying open could also bring a Class C misdemeanor charge. 

The owners of Courthouse and Flex Fitness both said they wouldn’t make it through the freeze. 

“As a result of the harm done to our business from the initial COVID-19 shutdown, we cannot make the decision to close down our facility,” Flex Fitness wrote on its Facebook page. “We simply will not survive. We will remain open for business on Wednesday and the days to follow.” 

Both gyms have stressed being in accordance with mandates such as social distancing, wearing masks and rigorous sanitation practices. Both said they’d reduce capacity by 50 percent.

“Just because we’re drawing a line doesn’t mean we’re throwing everything out the window in terms of health and safety,” Courthouse vice president Drew Baker told the Statesman Journal. “We plan to run all our programs normally and adjust to any changes based on demand. We’ll see what the reaction looks like and go from there.” 

Gyms and fitness centers are not the only places required to close during the freeze. The order requires some businesses and “faith-based organizations” to limit capacity. It requires others, including gyms, indoor recreational facilities, museums and others to close completely for the duration of the two weeks — if not longer.  

Related: Gyms across Oregon struggle to navigate second shutdown, stay in business

Gov. Brown executive orders: Oregon ‘freeze’ enforceable by law with Gov. Brown’s executive order

Penalties for staying open could get steep

Since the beginning of the pandemic, 50 citations have been issued to businesses for not complying with parts of the pandemic orders by OSHA, which is designed to protect employees. 

The fines have typically ranged from $100 to $2,000 for lower-level citations, to $8,900 to $14,000 for “willful violations.” 

A willful violation includes keeping a business open after it’s been ordered to close, OSHA said. The highest citation so far was handed out to Salem’s Glamour Salon, which was fined $14,000 in May for remaining open.

“We know

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Courthouse fitness Salem to defy Gov. Brown’s freeze, will stay open


Dr. Esther Choo speaks on the dangers of medical facilities reaching capacity if Oregonians do not heed new restrictions imposed by Gov. Brown’s two-week freeze statewide.


One of Salem’s most prominent fitness centers says it will defy Oregon Gov. Kate Brown’s order that requires all gyms to close for two weeks starting Wednesday and instead will remain open. 

Courthouse Club Fitness, which has five locations across Salem, announced on its Facebook page Monday that “it would remain open Wednesday and in the days to follow.” 

Brown’s order listed gyms and fitness centers as being required to close to limit the spread of the COVID-19 pandemic, which has spiked in recent weeks. 

The order is for a two-week “freeze” requiring some businesses and “faith-based organizations” to limit capacity. It requires others, including gyms, indoor recreational facilities, museums and others to close completely for the duration of the two weeks. 

Courthouse was not the only gym considering staying open. Landon Burningham, owner of Physiq Fitness, which has four locations in Salem, Keizer and Albany, said he considered staying open but ultimately decided to close while he looks at “outside the box ways” to reopen sooner than two weeks, he said in a Facebook post Tuesday night. 

Overall, owners of gyms and fitness centers said they were facing a wrenching decision and felt unfairly singled out by Brown’s order given no specific evidence has been presented linking gyms to COVID-19 outbreaks in Oregon. 

“These are among the hardest decisions we will make as a company,” Burningham said. “We believe exercise is medicine. We believe gyms are safe and when adhering to safety measures, gyms are and should be considered essential.” 

COVID-19 pandemic: Coronavirus cases surge in Oregon

Courthouse says it will stay open, Brown pushes back

Courthouse owner John Miller said in a statement that a second shutdown would push his business to the breaking point. 

“As a result of the harm done to our business from the first shutdown, we will not survive another closure,” Miller said. “This is a horrible position I find myself in, and it leaves me with only one choice. Courthouse Club Fitness will remain open Wednesday and the days to follow.” 

Courthouse Club Fitness on Monday, Nov. 16, 2020 on Devonshire Court Northeast in Salem, Oregon. The fitness center has announced on it’s Facebook page that it will remain open during the two-week freeze mandated by Gov. Kate Brown to reduce the spread of COVID-19. (Photo: ABIGAIL DOLLINS / STATESMAN JOURNAL)

Oregon Gov. Kate Brown’s spokeswoman said a Class C misdemeanor could be issued for any violation of the two-week freeze measures. Oregon State Police said they’d take an “education first approach” and would issue criminal citations “as a last resort.” 

“Our focus is on voluntary compliance,” said Liz Merah, Brown’s press secretary in an email. “It’s critical that Oregonians do their part to stop the spread of COVID-19 and prevent further spikes in infections and hospitalizations. 

“If Oregonians and businesses don’t take these measures

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It’s critical to keep fitness centers open amid COVID-19

One less-reported consequence of the lockdowns associated with the COVID-19 pandemic is the toll the virus has taken on our physical and mental health. As we look for ways to to improve our nation’s health, policymakers should work with fitness centers to ensure COVID-19 transmission-mitigation efforts are in place so that these facilities can remain open and available.

The lockdowns across the nation led people to be more sedentary, with one study showing a 32% reduction in physical activity. In addition, a recent nationwide poll by the Kaiser Family Foundation reports that more than half of U.S. adults, about 53%, say their mental health has been negatively impacted by worry and stress over the pandemic. That number is a significant increase from the 32% who reported being similarly affected in March.

Furthermore, these negative health trends may be exacerbated by issues of health equity and health disparities for some of our most vulnerable populations. In Texas, physical inactivity and obesity disproportionately impact our lower-income population and communities of color. The obesity rate for adults in Texas is nearly 35%. However, while only 33% of whites are reported obese, that figure jumps to nearly 40% for Black and Latino Americans.

Most individuals and families don’t have the resources or space for at-home fitness equipment, so access to spacious, well-ventilated, big-box fitness facilities can play an important role in efforts to combat the virus and improve people’s overall physical and mental health. Chronic health conditions impacting millions of Americans including obesity, hypertension and diabetes can cause complications and significantly increase the chances of hospitalization and death for those who contract COVID-19.

There is also increasing evidence that some racial and ethnic minority groups are being disproportionately affected by COVID-19. Regular physical activity can protect us from these conditions while helping us to fight the virus. Researchers found that as little as 20 minutes of exercise can have anti-inflammatory effects that boost your immune system.

Mental health, much like physical health, also disproportionately impacts our lower-income communities. While 6.7% of Texas residents who make over $75,000 a year reported that they experience frequent mental distress; that number nearly triples to 18% for those making less than $25,000 a year.

Levels of stress, anxiety and depression across the U.S. all increased during the pandemic. To cope, it appears many Americans turned to alcohol, according to a study by the Rand Corp. and the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism that found a spike in consumption. As lead author of the study and Rand sociologist Michael Pollard noted, “People’s depression increases, anxiety increases, [and] alcohol use is often a way to cope with these feelings.”

Once again, fitness can play a role; turning people away from increased alcohol use and toward regular physical activity is known to have long-term mental health benefits that reduce those conditions many are struggling with right now.

All of this underscores the critical need for regular physical activity, especially now in the time of COVID-19, for our country’s physical

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Qatar- Registration open for Sidra Medicine’s precision medicine symposium

(MENAFN – The Peninsula) Doha: Sidra Medicine is pleased to announce that registrations to its virtual Precision Medicine and Functional Genomics Symposium (PMFG 2020) are now open. The symposium will be hosted online from December 5 to 7.

PMFG 2020 Organizing Co-Chair, Dr. Bernice Lo, Investigator at Sidra Medicine said: ‘We have finalised some very topical discussions this year, including precision medicine solutions for managing COVID-19. We are also going to cover the large-scale discoveries that drive precision medicine as well as lessons from industry and biotechnology sectors.

Attendees to PMFG 2020 will receive 14.25 hours learning credits as approved by the Qatar Council of Healthcare Practitioners. Speakers to PMFG 2020 include Sir Mark Caulfield from Genomics England; Dr. Adolfo Garcia-Sastre from the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai; Dr. Ingrid Scheffer from the University of Melbourne; Dr. Paul Thompson from the University of Southern California and Dr. Virginia Pascual from Cornell University.


Legal Disclaimer: MENAFN provides the information “as is” without warranty of any kind. We do not accept any responsibility or liability for the accuracy, content, images, videos, licenses, completeness, legality, or reliability of the information contained in this article. If you have any complaints or copyright issues related to this article, kindly contact the provider above.

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Emergency Dentist Tyson’s Corner VA Now Open 24 Hours for Wisdom Teeth Removal

Emergency Dentist Tyson’s Corner VA serves postcodes 22043, 22102, 22182 in Virginia recently updated its range of emergency dental services for patients who need urgent wisdom tooth removal.

TYSONS, VA / ACCESSWIRE / November 11, 2020 / Emergency Dental Service Tyson’s Corner Virginia announced the launch of an updated range of emergency dental services for patients in Tysons, Virginia. The dental team can perform emergency wisdom tooth removal and schedule appointments 24 hours, 7 days a week.

More information can be found at

The newly launched emergency dental services at Emergency Dental Service Tyson’s Corner Virginia aim to help patients who need to have their wisdom teeth extracted. They serve these postcodes near Tyson’s Corner VA, 22043, 22102, 22182.

Impacted wisdom teeth or wisdom teeth infections can be very painful and dangerous to one’s oral health. That is why it is essential to schedule a dental emergency appointment when having any difficulty with one’s wisdom teeth.

The team at Emergency Dental Service (Dr Dr. Farshad Farhoumand from Avanti Dentistry) Tyson’s Corner Virginia have extensive experience providing treatments for patients with acute conditions and emergencies, such as toothache or pain from a wisdom teeth infection.

In addition, the practice offers dental services for a multitude of emergencies, including partially and fully dislodged tooth, broken or fractured tooth, object stuck between teeth, severe toothache, root canals, lost dental crown or dental filling, oral bleeding, jaw injury, and many more.

Emergency Dental Service Tyson’s Corner Virginia provides financing options so that all patients can receive the dentistry care they need.

The dental professionals can help those who do not have insurance or the money to pay for emergency treatment with their dental emergency line of credit service. They also offer an affordable dental plan to help each patient save money on dental care.

Emergency Dental Service Tyson’s Corner Virginia has been providing dental services for almost 40 years. He speaks Italian, Spanish, French, Persian and Amharic fluently.

A satisfied patient said: “The convenience of having various specialists under one roof is the perfect business model. Not only is the consultation time frame greatly reduced and more efficient, but as a patient, one’s understanding of the interdependent relationship between necessary procedures is greatly enhanced.”

Interested parties can find more by visiting the above-mentioned website or accessing and

Contact Info:
Name: Eric LaVette
Email: Send Email
Organization: Emergency Dental Service Tyson’s Corner Virginia
Address: 1500 Cornerside Blvd #500, Tysons, VA 22182, United States
Phone: +1-703-997-5247

SOURCE: Emergency Dental Service Tyson’s Corner Virginia

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