SAN JOSE, Calif. (KRON) – Despite the return to the slightly less restrictive purple tier under state health regulations, fitness centers are still prohibited from working indoors.
Despite complaints and fines totaling thousands of dollars, California Ripped Fitness in San Jose is openly opposed to the order.
The fitness center on the East Capitol Expressway has received multiple warnings and fines but is still open and the dispute can be brought to court.
The Bay Area remains in the purple tier as the home stay order is canceled by CA.
East San Jose’s California Ripped Fitness doesn’t worry when it comes to defying health orders that say they can’t work indoors.
There are signs in front of the door claiming the protection of the constitution.
Ripped Fitness remains open despite at least 35 complaints that it poses a public health threat, says Michael Balliet, the county.
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“It is truly unfortunate that the business owner continues to violate the health commissioner’s order when many other similar businesses are doing the right thing and protecting their customers,” Balliet said.
A manager said the owner would not comment on the complaints after being warned several times after fining nearly half a million dollars.
Customers on cardio and other machines appeared to be using masks and physical distance, and several guests, including Javier Hernandez, applauded despite the gym’s defiance.
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“It’s not as crazy as people make it seem. I’d rather be here than somewhere like Walmart, which is more chaotic. People are just trying to get well,” said Hernandez.
Signs on the front door challenge health instructions that make it easier for people to access alcohol and tobacco but not exercise.
The gym’s appeal to its constitutional rights may well be examined if the county takes legal action. However, as long as it stays open, officials at Ripped Fitness are putting its customers and others at risk and potentially contributing to an already high infection rate in East San at Jose.
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“I think a lot of people know that East San Jose, and the Latinx community in particular, is the hardest hit, and given its location, it can certainly increase indoor transmission capabilities,” Balliet said.
The county is currently considering its options, one of which could be legal action.