Arizona gym and fitness center owners are now dealing with a new kind of “resistance training” that takes the form of ordinances, laws, regulations, guidance, and practical considerations for operating in the age of COVID-19. The most recent and notable being Governor Doug Ducey’s Executive Order (EO) 2020-43 and the resulting legal battle. In particular, EO 2020-43 ordered “indoor gyms and fitness clubs or centers” to “pause operations until at least July 27, 2020, unless extended.” This executive order survived a temporary challenge in Mountainside Fitness Acquisitions LLC v. Ducey, CV 2020-093916, on July 27, 2020. Governor Ducey sought to extend EO 2020-43 indefinitely through EO 2020-52, stating that EO 2020-43 would “remain in place and continue to be reviewed for repeal or revision every two weeks.” The Superior Court ruled last week that EO 2020-52 violated procedural due process. Ultimately, the Court ordered that “fitness centers must be provided a prompt opportunity to apply for reopening” and “the process for doing so must be in place” by August 11, 2020.
With respect to that process, the Arizona Department of Health Services (ADHS) has posted “Requirements for Indoor Gyms and Fitness Clubs/Centers” and an attestation form for gym fitness center owners. Although these requirements are still in draft form, some of the highlights for gyms and fitness centers to reopen include:
- Operate at 25% capacity (prior to the legal challenge this standard was 50% capacity);
- Implement temperature checks;
- Reduce communal/congregating areas and spaces;
- Implement online/phone pre-bookings;
- Allow at least a 15-minute time period between fitness classes to allow for complete sanitization; and
- Close or limit locker room capacity to 25%.
The above are just a few highlights of ADHS’s draft guidance. Before reopening, gyms and fitness centers will be required to attest to their compliance with these requirements. One can be sure that the compliance of gyms and fitness centers will be heavily scrutinized, and the consequences of noncompliance will likely be heavy and may include “summary suspension for any license that the business holds” in addition to a fine. As such, compliance is crucial.
For more information on this topic or to ensure compliance with these ever-changing requirements, please contact Daniel Peabody.
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