A San Jose gym fined nearly $ 1 million for violating public health regulations to stop the spread of COVID-19 has finally closed its doors and is in compliance with California regulations.
California Ripped Fitness’ decision to temporarily cease indoor operations at 1035 E. Capitol Expressway comes after months of staying open in flagrant violation of state health regulations.
In the past two months, Santa Clara County had received dozens of complaints about the gym, made repeated site visits, and fined the company nearly $ 1 million for refusing to obey the rules.
The gym’s justification for being defiant was shown on the front windows in the form of brightly colored, handwritten signs that read, “We are exercising our constitutional right to peaceful protest. We protest that health clubs and exercise are essential. “
The county announced on Wednesday that the owner of California Ripped Fitness had finally filed a Declaration of Conformity stating they will no longer be operated indoors.
“The county is pleased that California Ripped Fitness has made a decision to comply and we will work with them on an agreement to resolve the outstanding fines,” the county health department wrote in a statement. “If they reopen in violation of public health regulations, additional fines and possible legal action will be imposed.”
The state’s purple reopening stage, which currently borders Santa Clara County, bans gyms from operating indoors, but allows them to move equipment and classes outside to continue serving their customers. California Ripped Fitness, which sits in a large parking lot in a mall, hasn’t brought any equipment outside.
In an anonymous interview earlier this month, the gym manager said he had “no viable option” to get the heavy equipment into the busy parking lot, arguing that the owner’s only means would be to pay the bills, if he remains open to indoor exercises.
“We have fines but if we close we won’t have our business anyway,” the manager said at the time. “The owner is going to lose everything, so the county and the state really put us between a rock and a tough place.”
During an afternoon visit to the gym earlier this month, about two dozen people worked out indoors. A sign at the front desk advised people to wear a mask and to wipe the equipment down after use.
The gym had closed its sauna, stopped offering group classes, and turned off the water fountains – all protocols introduced in the fall when it was allowed to serve customers with limited capacity indoors.
SAN JOSE, CALIFORNIA – FEBRUARY 3: Signs on the front of California Ripped Fitness in San Jose explain the gym’s reasons to continue to allow customers to exercise indoors in violation of state health regulations. (Dai Sugano / Bay Area News Group)
California Ripped Fitness was closed for six months at the start of the pandemic, but reopened in September when Santa Clara County first moved to the state’s red plains, which allowed gyms to open with 10% capacity indoors . About two months later, when the county returned to the Purple Plains, the gym kept its doors open despite orders to close.
Unlike the case of San Jose’s defiant Calvary Chapel – a Willow Glen church that was sued by the county for repeatedly hosting large, mask-free indoor services – the county did not take legal action against California Ripped Fitness.
However, the company has been fined and fined for violating public health guidelines that prohibit indoor operations and fail to meet social distancing and face mask requirements.
According to Santa Clara County, California Ripped Fitness wasn’t the only gym that broke public health regulations, but it was the hardest gym to convince to ensure compliance.
California Ripped Fitness is located in one of the zip codes hardest hit by the Santa Clara County’s coronavirus pandemic – 95121. In the neighborhoods around the gym, about eight out of 100 people are infected with the virus, according to the county.