VENTURA COUNTY, Calif. -- A Ventura County gym and church remains open indoors despite the state and local health orders, as well as a temporary restraining order.
BSF Fitness Center in Ventura is open for indoor workouts despite State and Local health orders.
“We got several messages of people wanting to commit suicide because they do not have their outlet to help boost their immune system, but also get rid of aggression and stress,” said Lindsey Cohn, Owner of BSF Fitness Center.
Owner Lindsey Cohn says she wants to boost her clients' health.
“They were becoming more unhealthy and become obese, and more prone to this virus so we really felt like God was calling us,” said Cohn. “We never want to go against our city. We love our city. We are not criminals, but the numbers didn’t reflect the need to shut down anymore.
The gym closed for two months but reopened in May. Last week the Ventura County Superior Court issued a temporary restraining order calling on the gym to stop indoor operations.
“I sat there and I couldn’t leave,” said Cohn, who was holding back tears. “They had to kick me out.”
The Ventura gym isn’t the only place going against those orders. Godspeak Calvary Chapel in Newbury Park is also open. The church's pastor Rob McCoy was ordered to pay $500 for every service held indoors.
"And here you have churches goers all over the County of Ventura, that are meeting and coming together and saying we don’t care what the governor says any longer,” said Robert Tyler, who is McCoys attorney.
County Public Health says it's not safe.
“We are trying to minimize risk for continue transition of the virus, and it is very well documented that the virus transmits more readily indoors,” said Rigo Vargas, Ventura County Health director.
Both the church and the gym say moving outdoors is not an option.
“If we were to put a temporary fencing around it we have an uneven parking lot so that’s not safe,” said Cohn.
The gym is giving out masks, but they're not required during workouts.
“Let's say an outbreak happened at our gym, heaven forbid, we would do our part and shut down and do whatever was necessary to rectify the situation,” said Cohn.
The gym is being fined $3,000 a day. Pastor McCoy and Cohn connected during court hearings last week. Cohn was later invited to be a guest on McCoy's live stream, where he presented her with a $15,000 check. While the public health department says 99% of businesses are complying with health orders. Both the church and gym plan to stay open indoors.
“Until God tells me to shut down and that it is the right thing to do,” said Cohn. “Until there is any sign that we are causing a spike we are staying open.”
According to Cohn there will be a freedom march on August 31 at the Ventura County Government Center to reopen California.