Former Arizona Health Director Says Gyms Can Safely Reopen

Published: Saturday, August 1, 2020 - 3:24pm
Updated: Monday, August 3, 2020 - 7:19am
Bret Jaspers/KJZZ
Will Humble

There’s no reason to keep gyms closed if they comply with COVID-19 safety protocols, said Arizona’s former health director. The statement is part of a formal declaration that will be used at a Monday hearing in Maricopa County Superior Court on the lawsuit by Mountainside Fitness.

Gyms and fitness centers can be operated just as safely as other businesses currently open under strict, proposed guidelines by the state, said Will Humble, who now heads the Arizona Public Health Association, in the document. 

He said it’s scientifically wrong for Gov. Ducey to put gyms in the same risk category as bars. 

"Exercise equipment can be easily spaced out for proper social distancing,'' he said. "Fitness center members are not ingesting alcohol and are not inebriated, and therefore can read printed wall signs discussing member hygiene requirements and can use good judgment to comply — or be asked to leave.''

Mountainside Fitness' attorney Joel Sannes is hoping to use this statement to convince Judge Timothy Thomason that there is no legitimate reason to keep gyms closed as the governor’s executive order currently directs. 

If the lawsuit is successful, it could force the governor to allow gyms across the state to reopen. 

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