Story at a glance

  • One of the gym’s owners posted a video to Instagram, vowing to file a lawsuit against New Jersey Gov. Phil Murphy.
  • The New Jersey Health Department said the gym is posing a threat to public health by failing to adhere to measures to mitigate the spread of COVID-19.
  • The owners were cited for the last three days for reopening.

A gym in New Jersey that reopened this week in violation of Gov. Phil Murphy’s lockdown order was shut down by state health officials Thursday. 

Ian Smith, one of the owners of Atilis Gym in Camden County, posted about the shutdown on Instagram, vowing to file a lawsuit against the Democratic governor “first thing this morning.”


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“So we arrived at the gym this morning to Governor Murphy’s dirty tricks, playing with his power in the health department,” Smith said in the video. “For right now, the gym will be closed. We have a full cleaning crew inside, one again going above and beyond.” 


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The notice of closure was posted on gym doors Wednesday night. 

The New Jersey Health Department said in an order the gym is not approved to reopen and that it is “posing a threat to the public health by failing to adhere to measures taken to mitigate the spread of COVID-19,” according to CBS Philadelphia

On Monday, Atilis Gym opened up in defiance of the state order, with dozens of people coming out to show their support for the business, many holding signs critical of the governor and some waving American flags. Gym members also lined up for several hours outside the business Tuesday morning before local authorities showed up requesting crowds leave and threatening charges to those who refused. 

Some gym members were cited for violating the order Tuesday as they exited the gym, and one person who refused to give their name was arrested at the scene, according to Fox 29

The owners were cited for the last three days for reopening in protest of the state’s shutdown orders. They say they will not reopen today but plan on reopening Friday, CBS Philadelphia reports

Smith and co-owner Frank Trumbetti said keeping the gym open is not about the money but about raising concerns over constitutional rights. 

“They are going to have to take other steps to shut us down. We are not shutting down,” Trumbetti said Tuesday

The gym was operating at 20 percent capacity and taking members' temperatures upon entry. 

On Thursday, Murphy said the state is looking to allow more nonessential businesses to reopen with restrictions in a matter of weeks, although no specific timeline has been set, according to CNBC


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Published on May 21, 2020