In an unprecedented lawsuit win against Sacramento County, several fitness centers have been given the green light to reopen their centers on a limited, precautionary basis.

As an update to this post (after May 19, 2020), Dr. Peter Beilenson changed his mind after receiving “feedback from the state Department of Public Health that no gyms or small fitness studios of any kind may re-open at this point, and we will respect and follow that guidance.” Read the original story at The Sacramento Bee.

May 19, 2020

Several local fitness center owners banded together and, with the help of California Criminal Defense Attorneys Kenneth Rosenfeld and N. Allen Sawyer, sued Governor Gavin Newsom and Sacramento County over the stay-at-home orders for COVID-19. As a result, these fitness center owners have been given permission to reopen their gyms, as long as they abide by certain precautions to keep customers safe and with a reduced risk of catching the coronavirus.
Although the fitness owners (including Sean Covell of Fitness Center gyms in Land Park, West Sacramento, and Lodi, who reported a loss of over $800 due to the closures) are not certain of their reopening dates, this sheds some light at the end of this long, costly tunnel.

According to California Criminal Defense Attorney Kenneth Rosenfeld,

The public health officer is working with us to get the guidelines together; he could have flouted the law and said we’re going to reopen, but he didn’t. The bottom line is that this is the right result for a good man.

Rosenfeld said the suit will be dismissed.

Lawsuit Win Against Sacramento County

In an e-mail from the county, the provision states that,

Clients must pre-register for their sessions and can’t share equipment; studios must follow requirements for disinfecting; clients can’t gather in communal spaces such as locker rooms; those studios will have unannounced visits for enforcement.

“We fought hard for this,” said Sean Covell, owner of three Fitness Center gyms in Land Park, West Sacramento and Lodi. “It’s not done by a long shot.”

On Wednesday, May 20, 2020, the Sacramento County officials said that Dr. Peter Beilenson, the county’s Director of Health Services, decided that small fitness operations can reopen if they meet certain requirements, including having 250 square feet between people and a no more than eight clients at a time.

The county also stated that gyms must email Beilenson that they agree to the requirements and can only reopen once he approves.
The state is awash in lawsuits over COVID-19 closures. Read more at The Sacramento Bee.

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