A Santa Barbara County Superior Court judge on Friday ordered a Buellton gym to remain closed over alleged violations of COVID-19 health orders.
Judge Jed Beebe approved the preliminary injunction against All Sport Fitness Center, which requires the gym to comply with state and local health orders related to the coronavirus throughout the duration of the case.
The gym, located at 85 Industrial Parkway, was accused in a lawsuit filed Aug. 24 of violating state unfair business practices by operating despite local health directives issued to curb spread of the coronavirus.
A county health order issued on July 14 required gyms to close, unless they can modify their businesses to operate outdoors. An Aug. 12 order continued that closure until Sept. 10, which subsequently was extended to Sept. 29.
Despite the health orders and warnings from several Buellton code enforcement officers and county officials since June, gym owner David Henrey has continued to operate.
Henrey said moving his equipment outside is not an option because it weighs too much and that unpleasant odors from a nearby marijuana field and sewage treatment plant permeate the area.
He also has argued his gym is essential and started selling masks, gloves and other personal protective equipment. Safety measures he has instituted include taking members' temperatures upon entry.
The gym owner is currently the sole provider for his two children.
"I've been called selfish and entitled and things like that, but these are people who clearly don't have a job or built a business for 10 years and have two kids at home to support," Henrey said.
On Aug. 28, Gov. Gavin Newsom issued "A Blueprint for A Safer Economy," or a color-coded, tiered reopening system that allows businesses to operate and graduate to less restrictive tiers if the number of coronavirus cases drops below certain thresholds.
Santa Barbara County is coded purple, or the most restrictive tier, meaning that gyms cannot operate indoors because the coronavirus risk level is "widespread," or that new confirmed cases exceed seven or more per 100,000 people.