SALEM, Ore. (AP) — Oregon has fined a Salem gym nearly $127,000 for remaining open in defiance of COVID-19 restrictions.
Oregon Occupational Safety and Health announced Tuesday it had issued the fine to Capitol Racquet Sports for willfully refusing to comply with state health orders at one of its Courthouse Club Fitness locations in Salem, The Oregonian/OregonLive reported.
The gym will have 30 days to decide whether to appeal. It appealed prior sanctions.
Gyms in counties deemed “extreme risk” for COVID-19 spread have not been allowed to conduct indoor operations since late November under Gov. Kate Brown’s framework for COVID-19 restrictions. The regulations came after Brown mandated that gyms close entirely for two weeks in early November.
Oregon OSHA issued Courthouse Club Fitness four penalties totaling $90,000 in November for operating during two-week closure. The state issued the citations at four Courthouse Club facilities and the company has appealed.
Oregon OSHA then inspected one of the facilities on Dec. 9 in response to complaints and said it again found Courthouse Club Fitness to be willfully disregarding public health orders and closure notices, prompting the additional fine.
“We understand that this employer is attempting to do a number of things to keep employees safe without shutting down, but that does not allow them to substitute their judgment for that of the public health authorities,” Oregon OSHA Administrator Michael Wood said in a statement.