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NJ Department of Health Re-Closes Gym Hyped by Fox News for Defying Coronavirus Lockdown

The New Jersey Department of Health forced a local gym back into shutdown days after it defied the state’s ongoing lockdown orders in the midst of the coronavirus pandemic.

Fox 29 reported on thursday that the Atilis Gym in Bellmawr, NJ received an order to close from Health Commissioner Judith Persichilli, along with an embargo notice from the Camden County Environmental Health Department. The order states that “Indoor gyms and fitness centers present particularly high-risk settings for the spread of COVID-19, in part because customers of these facilities engage in physical activities that increase the customers’ respiratory activity, which in turn can increase the amount of respiratory droplets or aerosols in a confined setting.”

The news comes as Atilis owners Ian Smith and Frank Trumbetti told reporters that they had to close the gym on Wednesday after calling emergency plumbing services to deal with a sewage backup. They said that the issue was someone clogged up all of their toilets with paper towels.

Throughout Atilis’ efforts to re-open, the gym has received an abundance of positive coverage from Fox News, plus the public support of pro-Donald Trump, anti-lockdown protesters. The institution drew great fanfare when it reopened for business on Monday, and even though police appeared on site and noted the violation of social distancing mandates, the crowd cheered after the cops declined to take any further action. This prompted New Jersey Governor Phil Murphy (D) to warn that the law would be enforced if this went on.

Smith and Trumbetti have insisted that they are taking sufficient measures to protect their client’s from the virus, and that the continued business lockdown is an affront to their constitutional rights. The two of them derided the Health Department’s order as a “scare tactic” while saying they plan to reopen again on Friday.

Watch above, via Fox 29 and Steve Kelley.

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