Health Department Closed New Jersey Gym that Defied Shutdown Order

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Danielle Cerullo via Unsplash

A New Jersey gym that opened in defiance of the state’s stay-at-home order has been shut down by the state’s health department.

State and local health officials plastered signs on the doors of Atilis Gym in Bellmawr on Thursday morning, CBS Philadelphia reported.

The owners say they will not reopen again immediately and violate the health department order. The gym owners were cited for the past three days for reopening their gym to protest the shutdown orders.

Atilis Gym first reopened its doors on Monday, drawing crowds of protesters and police. Officers quickly cited the gym for defying Gov. Phil Murphy’s stay-at-home order before the health department shut it down Thursday.

Ian Smith, the gym’s co-owner, told NBC 10 Philadelphia the closure was a “dirty tactic” by the governor and a “coordinated attack” on his business.

“It’s a gross abuse of power,” Smith said, adding that though the gym would not reopen Thursday to violate the health order, it planned on opening by Friday.

Smith said the health department had not inspected the gym to take a look at safety measures to protect customers and vowed to file a lawsuit.

The New Jersey Department of Health did not immediately respond for comment.

When Smith was asked if he regretted opening his business in the first place, he replied, “Absolutely not. We’re gonna defend our rights.”

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