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Arizona health department gives defiant gyms final chance to shut down

(Arizona Department of Health Services photo)

PHOENIX — The Arizona Department of Health Services on Thursday gave three Valley gyms a final opportunity to close before filing civil action against the facilities.

Mountainside Fitness at East Sahuro Drive in Scottsdale, Life Time Fitness at West Ruby Drive in Tempe and Life Time Fitness at East Camelback Road in Phoenix received Demand for Compliance letters from AZDHS, according to an email the health department sent KTAR News 92.3 FM.

If the gyms refuse to close by noon on Friday, AZDHS said its civil action against the facilities will include seeking a temporary restraining order, preliminary and injunctive relief and declaratory relief.

” … The Director [Dr. Cara Christ] reasonably believes that gyms should close and remain closed until July 27, 2020,” the letter stated.

” … Should indoor gyms and fitness centers or clubs remain open during that time, they will pose a serious threat to public health and welfare by exacerbating the spread of COVID-19, facilitating Community Spread and therefore placing the public at significant risk. Arizona law empowers the Director to effectuate her Decision.”

On June 29, Arizona Gov. Doug Ducey signed an executive order requiring bars, nightclubs, gyms, movie theaters and water parks to close until at least July 27 in order to combat the state’s surge of coronavirus cases.

Mountainside Fitness CEO Tom Hatten said Tuesday he had been cited in multiple metro Phoenix cities for staying open and defying Ducey’s executive order.

Mountainside Fitness filed an injunction against Ducey around 4 p.m. Tuesday.

On Wednesday, Arizona Department of Liquor Licenses and Control announced it had suspended Life Time Biltmore’s liquor licenses for continuing to operate Rooftop Bistro and Life Café & Lounge.

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