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California fitness centers sue state over virus closures

The suit accuses state of requiring gyms to close without providing evidence that they contribute to virus outbreaks.

SACRAMENTO, Calif. — California fitness centers have filed a lawsuit alleging Gov. Gavin Newsom’s measures aimed at curbing the spread of the coronavirus unfairly target the industry and are demanding they be allowed to reopen. 

Scott Street, a lawyer for the California Fitness Alliance, said Tuesday that the suit was filed in Los Angeles County Superior Court. 

It accuses state and Los Angeles County officials of requiring gyms to close without providing evidence that they contribute to virus outbreaks and at a time when staying healthy is critical to residents. 

According to the state's newest tiered guidelines, gyms and fitness centers can reopen when a county has moved out of the widespread (purple) tier. Capacity limits differ by following tiers: capped at 10% for the substantial (red) tier; capped at 25% in the moderate (orange) tier; and capped at 50% in the minimal (yellow) tier. Facilities in the widespread (purple) tier can still operate outdoors. 

A message seeking comment was sent to the California Department of Public Health.

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