Arizona health department demands 3 defiant gyms close their doors or face legal action

The three gyms — two Entire life locations and something Mountainside Fitness gym — have garnered attention for their refusal to adhere to Governor Doug Ducey’s order to re-close following a surge in Covid-19 cases in the state.

The three locations must close by noon today or face “civil action” by the department, based on a copy of the letter each business received. Specifically, the letters say the health department will seek a temporary restraining order.

The health department also posted notices and copies of the letters on the leading doors of three establishments, photos supplied by the department show.

Mountainside Fitness happens to be suing Ducey over his order re-closing gyms. A spokeswoman for the company said they had no comment on the development. The first hearing in the case is defined for July 6.

LifeTime, which has also defied that ban, told CNN they are “aware of the notice and continue to maintain we have operated in compliance with the Governor’s order.”

“We’re reviewing the matter currently,” the spokeswoman for the company added.

LifeTime has already established the liquor licenses at two of its gyms suspended because of their continued operation throughout the last few days. One of those locations, the location in Phoenix, can also be the recipient of the health department’s letter.

Coronavirus spikes in Arizona

Arizona is one of four states, including California, Texas and Florida, that posted record new cases this week.

Currently, 1,520 of the state’s ICU beds have been in use — 91% of its capacity, state data shows. 741 of those patients are being treated for Covid-19, the data shows. Just 156 ICU beds remain empty — this is actually the lowest quantity of available beds the state has already established available, based on records that go back to late March.

Dr. Murtaza Akhter, an ER physician at Phoenix’s Valleywise Health Medical Center and an assistant professor at the University of Arizona College of Medicine, told CNN on Thursday night his hospital was “getting a crush of patients,” and many of these had coronavirus.

“They’re coming in with fever, shortness of breath, cough, body aches and, at least for me, basically everybody I test is positive,” Dr. Akhter said. “It is ridiculous,” that he added.