Judge rules Arizona gyms should reopen, says statewide closure violates due process

Gyms allowed to reopen

TUCSON, Ariz. (KOLD News 13) - Fitness centers and gyms should be allowed to reopen, a Maricopa County judge ruled Tuesday, Aug. 4.

The ruling comes after gym owners of Mountainside Fitness filed preliminary injunctions to remain open despite COVID-19 health measures from the governor’s office and state health officials, according to AZ Family.

Judge Timothy J. Thomason with the Maricopa County Superior Court ruled the order to shut down gyms violated procedural due process, stating gyms should be able to apply to reopen no later than one week from the ruling.

Neither the governor’s office nor the state health department has released a comment on the ruling.

“We just wanted to make sure that like all businesses, the fitness industry was allowed to stay open if we all agreed to a remedy or in this case, protocols, that we would follow to stay open,” Mountainside Fitness CEO Tom Hatten said in a news conference.

It doesn’t mean gyms can open up tomorrow, instead they’ll have to wait to see what new safety guidelines the state puts out in a week and prove they can follow them.

But Tucson gym owner Lawrence Simeza wonders what could be added to what he’d done pre-shutdown.

“I don’t know if they have something newer we have to do, I don’t know what else is out there,” said Simeza.

The news today has him preparing regardless and investing in the future of his business. He started his gym’s expansion today, allowing for more space to social distance.

“We’ll do whatever it takes to keep this place open,” said Simeza.

Despite being thankful for the ruling and considering it a win, Simezas’s faced two shutdowns. So this time, he hopes it actually carries some weight.

“I just hope-hope that they can come up with a plan this time, a real plan, that they can keep us open.”

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