LINCOLN, R.I. (WPRI) — Two gyms in Rhode Island had members coming and going on Wednesday, despite an order from the state to close for safety reasons.
The Maxx Fitness Clubzz in Lincoln and Warren say they plan to stay open and safe during Gov. Gina Raimondo’s two-week pause for as long as they can.
The pause, which started on Monday, required gyms and other fitness centers to temporarily close.
On Tuesday, an inspector from the state COVID-19 Enforcement Task Force visited both gyms and issued them $500 citations for not following the rules.
Both locations also received immediate compliance orders to shut down.
“It is hereby ordered, that Respondent is to immediately close all indoor operations until such
time as the requirement set forth in Executive Order 20-100, and any successor Executive Order thereto, that gyms and fitness centers cease indoor operations is lifted,” the order reads.
Maxx Fitness owner Matthew D’Amico said if the gyms shut down again, they may not be able to reopen.
“This is an arbitrary decision that will put a lot of people out of business,” D’Amico said. “There is no data and science that COVID spreads in gyms.”
D’Amico said he spent thousands to get up to code with the state’s guidance, and they haven’t had an outbreak among members or staff.
According to the R.I. Department of Health, the temporary restrictions and closures are necessary in order to reduce transmission rates.
“The restrictions are really focused on what are considered higher-risk settings, in those places like gyms, for example,” RIDOH spokesperson Joseph Wendelken said.
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