Arizona gyms must get opportunity to show they can safely reopen, judge rules in rebuke of Ducey

Employees wearing face masks work behind the counter at Mountainside Fitness in Glendale. Gyms were among the businesses Arizona Gov. Doug Ducey ordered closed again after a surge of new coronavirus cases. /Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images

By Ryan Randazzo | Arizona Republic

Arizona gyms must be given a chance to reopen within a week, a Maricopa County Superior Court judge ruled on Tuesday, marking the first time during the pandemic that Gov. Doug Ducey has faced a rebuke of his actions to fight the coronavirus.

Gyms, led by Mountainside Fitness and Eos Fitness, challenged the governor’s June closure order, which was extended in late July.

The Governor’s Office initially intended to issue guidelines for reopening by July 27, but four days before that the governor extended the closure, putting it up for review every two weeks. Mountainside and EoS asked the judge to reconsider an earlier decision upholding the closure order.

After an evidentiary hearing on Monday in which Arizona Department of Health Services Director Dr. Cara Christ and others were questioned by attorneys for the gyms and the governor, Judge Timothy Thomason said Tuesday the governor needs to give gyms an opportunity to apply to the state to reopen.

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