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Indoor gyms in Santa Barbara County defy purple tier public health orders

Indoor gyms defy purple tier public health order
Gyms defying outdoor orders
Tracy Lehr / KEYT

SANTA BARBARA, Calif. - Getting a good workout before a Thanksgiving feast is nothing new, but trying to do it during a pandemic has its hurdles.

When local counties went back into the more restrictive purple tier to prevent the spread of the coronavirus, gyms were ordered to move their equipment outdoors.

They had been forced to do so the last time counties were in the purple tier and they had a short reprieve during the red tier.

Gold's Gym on upper State Street and Fitness 19 off of Turnpike are among the local gyms allowing people to exercise indoors.

Santa Barbara County Chief Deputy District Attorney John Savrnoch is well aware of the issue.

"There are multiple gyms that the county has received reports on, inspections have been made. We will be responding to all of the gyms and fitness centers that have been found to have indoor operations ongoing," said Savrnoch.

He said the rules regarding the gyms and fitness centers are clear.

"You cannot have indoor operations. We have been in this tier before, that rule is very clear, and what we are seeking is compliance. It is an order of the Public Health Officers, both of the state and the county, and our main goal in this is just to ensure compliance, and ultimately voluntary compliance is best. But we are prepared and have in several cases conducted enforcement actions."

The county is trying to work with businesses.

"We will give any gym found to be in violation an opportunity to get into the compliance, we will advise them of the rules, the consequences for violating the rules, and if need be, we will take it a step farther."

Savrnoch said they have filed two civil cases, but did not name names.

In one of those cases an injunction ordered the gym to be closed.

"There are potential criminal penalties, and there is the possibility of injunctive relief and a civil case," said Savrnoch.

A Gold's Gym owned by the same owners on Esplanade in Oxnard moved equipment outdoors within four hours of the order in Ventura County.

That is what public health officials want to see as they try to contain the recent rise of COVID19 cases and hospitalizations.

Article Topic Follows: Santa Barbara - South County

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Tracy Lehr

Tracy Lehr is a reporter and the weekend anchor for News Channel 3-12. To learn more about Tracy, click here


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