Arizona health deptartment orders gyms to close amid COVID spikes or face legal action

The Arizona Department of Health Services ordered three of the state’s gyms to close immediately amid significant spikes in coronavirus or face legal action.

Two of the gyms — LifeTime Fitness, Tempe and LifeTime Fitness, Camelback — agreed to comply with the order while the third gym, Mountainside Fitness, Scottsdale Shea, refused, the agency said in a statement.

“ADHS has agreed to partner with LifeTime Fitness to develop examples of best practices for the fitness industry to provide technical assistance for other fitness professionals,” the statement read.

On Thursday, the department ordered the gyms to close immediately after they learned “certain fitness centers were not complying with Governor [Doug] Ducey’s Executive Order.”

The gyms had to respond by noon local time Friday regarding their compliance.

Department director Dr. Cara Christ said LifeTime’s agreement “is in the best interest of all Arizonans.”

Mountainside, on the other hand, “made it clear to ADHS that they will not comply,” the department said.

“ADHS will move forward with seeking to enforce its Emergency Measures against Mountainside Fitness to protect the public health and welfare against the serious threat posed by COVID-19.”

The gym’s CEO, Tom Hatten, said at a press conference that the facility is “going to stay open until we have our day in court, which is Monday morning,” CNN reports.

The company is suing over the order.

Life Time, meanwhile, is “shutting down the indoor fitness portion of our clubs as of now through Monday evening,” a spokeswoman said in a statement to the outlet, noting the move was “out of respect for the Governor.”

ADHS’ order comes as The Grand Canyon State has become one of the United States’ four new epicenters for coronavirus spikes, along with California, Florida and Texas.

As of Friday, Arizona’s ICU beds were at 91% capacity, according to state data, with just 156 beds open, which marked the lowest number of available beds in the state since late March.

At the time of publication, the state had nearly 92,000 confirmed cases, according to a running tally by Johns Hopkins University & Medicine’s Coronavirus Resource Center.