Arizona health department demands 3 defiant gyms close their doors or face legal action

A trainer at Mountainside Fitness works with a client as the facility remains open.

(CNN)The Arizona Department of Health Services demanded that three gyms close immediately or face court action, according to a statement from the department's spokesman. Two locations complied.

The three gyms -- two LifeTime locations and one Mountainside Fitness gym -- have garnered attention for their refusal to abide by Gov. Doug Ducey's order to re-close following a surge in Covid-19 cases in the state.
The three locations were ordered to close by noon Friday or face "civil action" by the department, according to a copy of the letter each business received. Specifically, the letters say the health department will seek a temporary restraining order.
      Mountainside Fitness CEO Tom Hatten said that he will not heed the order.
        "We are going to stay open until we have our day in court, which is Monday morning," Hatten said at a press conference provided to CNN by affiliate KPHO/KTVK. His company is suing over the order.
          Hatten said that the order is more about "making it look like we're doing something."
          LifeTime announced it will temporarily close.
          "After connecting with the offices of the Governor and the Director of the Arizona Department of Health Services this morning and, out of respect for the Governor, we are shutting down the indoor fitness portion of our clubs as of now through Monday evening," a LifeTime spokeswoman said in a statement.
          LifeTime has had the liquor licenses at two of its gyms suspended as a result of their continued operation over the last few days. One of those locations, the location in Phoenix, is also the recipient of the health department's letter.

          Coronavirus spikes in Arizona

          Arizona is one of four states, including California, Texas and Florida, that posted record new cases this week.
          Currently, 1,520 of the state's ICU beds are in use -- 91% of its capacity, state data shows. 741 of those patients are being treated for Covid-19, the data shows. Just 156 ICU beds remain empty -- this is the lowest number of available beds the state has had available, according to records that go back to late March.
            Dr. Murtaza Akhter, an ER physician at Phoenix's Valleywise Health Medical Center and an assistant professor at the University of Arizona College of Medicine, told CNN on Thursday night his hospital was "getting a crush of patients," and many of them had coronavirus.
            "They're coming in with fever, shortness of breath, cough, body aches and, at least for me, basically everybody I test is positive," Dr. Akhter said. "It is ridiculous," he added.