“If we get arrested, we will be open the next day,” Frank Trumbetti told CNN Thursday night. He also questioned how the New Jersey Department of Health could shut the gym down without county officials coming inside his business.
He says he came to Atilis Gym in Bellmawr on Thursday morning and there was a note on the door saying the New Jersey Department of Health is shutting it down because of the coronavirus.
Gov. Phil Murphy has closed all of the state’s indoor gyms, fitness centers and classes.
The state’s order to close lists indoor gyms and fitness centers as “high-risk settings” for the spread of Covid-19 because of increased respiratory activity, communal equipment and close personal contact.
Murphy’s office said it had no comment about the gym’s plans to reopen at this time, as did the New Jersey Department of Health.
Trumbetti said they are adding even more precautions to the gym, including a thermal body scanner and limiting the time members can be in the gym and at certain stations.
Trumbetti’s attorney Kevin Barry told CNN they will announce their next steps at 8 a.m. Friday when the gym reopens.
“I have a feeling NJ will arrest the owners tomorrow, as the Governor is running out of ways to escalate,” Barry said in an email.
Trumbetti said, “We are sticking to our ground game, that we didn’t do anything wrong, were protecting our constitutional right and were willing to fight for that.”
The gym opened its doors to members multiple days this week and had already received multiple summonses for opening, and this order follows those summonses.
“Atilis Gym has continued to operate in non-compliance with Executive Order No. 107, thus posing a threat to the public health by failing to adhere to the measures taken to mitigate the spread of COVID-19,” the health department’s order states. It goes on to say that a failure to comply with the order could result in criminal sanctions and/or civil penalties.
The order notes that the state’s health department has the power “(to) close, direct and compel the evacuation of, or to decontaminate or cause to be decontaminated, any facility of which there is reasonable cause to believe that it may endanger the public health.”
New Jersey is the second hardest hit state with at least 10,846 deaths from Covid-19.
Elizabeth Hartfield and Anna Sturla contributed to this report.