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Arizona Department Of Health Services Director Director Christ Doubles Down On Extended Gym Closure

Arizona Department of Health Services Director Dr. Cara Christ doubled down Monday morning on her belief that gyms and fitness centers cannot safely operate during a pandemic. 

“The person who has COVID-19, if they are breathing vigorously, they can actually concentrate the virus in droplets that can land on surfaces,” Christ said.

Her statements coincide with a Maricopa County Superior Court case, conducted by an attorney for Mountainside Fitness, to reverse the order for gym closures in the county.

Legal representatives from multiple gyms in Maricopa County have criticized Christ and Gov. Doug Ducey, saying they are choosing to follow certain recommendations from the White House Coronavirus Task Force but ignoring others.

Last week, Will Humble, Arizona’s former health director who now heads the Arizona Public Health Association, said gyms and fitness centers can be operated just as safely as other businesses currently open under strict, proposed guidelines by the state.

He said it’s scientifically wrong for Gov. Ducey to put gyms in the same risk category as bars. 

"Exercise equipment can be easily spaced out for proper social distancing,'' he said. "Fitness center members are not ingesting alcohol and are not inebriated, and therefore can read printed wall signs discussing member hygiene requirements and can use good judgment to comply — or be asked to leave.''

→  Read The Latest News On The Coronavirus Disease 

Vaughan Jones is the weekend reporter for KJZZ, and a graduate of ASU’s Walter Cronkite School of Journalism and Mass Communications. He graduated with a bachelor’s degree in sports journalism, with a minor in music. As a Phoenix native, Jones’s dream is to serve his community by covering important stories in the metropolitan area.He spent two years as music director at Blaze Radio, ASU’s student-run radio station. His passion for radio stems from joining Blaze his freshman year as a DJ.When he is not working, Jones can be found writing music with his band, playing video games with his friends, or watching his favorite Phoenix-area sports teams.