San Diego

25 San Diego Gyms Sue County Over COVID-19 Restrictions

Churches, restaurants, strip clubs and now gyms are challenging the latest public health orders in court

NBCUniversal Media, LLC

The fast-growing club of San Diego businesses filing lawsuits against the county for COVID-19 restrictions just added 25 more members.

Last week, 25 gyms filed a lawsuit against San Diego for the right to reopen.Under the state's stay-home order, and the purple tier restrictions that proceeded it, gyms are not allowed to operate indoors.

Gyms like the Boxing Club, in the East Village, which sell themselves as places for luxury workouts and wellness experiences – there are even chandelier hanging over the boxing ring.

“It’s really tough to sell luxury when you’re working out in a parking lot,” Boxing Club CEO Artem Sharoshkin told NBC 7.

In March, like many gym owners across the county, Sharoshkin shut down for months.

"In the beginning, we were told we were quite literally endangering people’s lives,” recalled Sharoshkin.

But now, nine months into the pandemic, Sharoshkin struggles to understand why his nearly $2 million facility has to remain empty.

"I can’t tell you a week where we didn’t think, 'Are we going to make it past this month?" " Sharoshkin said.

Now, the Boxing Club is among the 25 gyms suing the county in a new lawsuit.

"Enough is enough already,” said one of the attorneys representing the gyms, Charlotte Najar. “You need to lay off and stop interfering in letting gym owners run their business."

Najar said that, at this point, closing gyms while allowing retailers to stay open isn't just arbitrary, it's unfounded by the county's own metrics.

“We’re saying no,” Najar said. “We’re not going to allow gyms open. But we’re going to allow liquor stores and tobacco stores to be open?”

Between June and December, the county reported more than 118,000 positive COVID-19 cases. After they were reported, county workers interviewed more than 68,000 people who caught the virus and tracked possible community exposures.

Gyms are possibly linked to 277 cases, or 0.4%, of potential exposures. Compare that to retail, which was linked to more than 6,300 exposures, or 9.2%. Workplaces claimed the highest possible exposures, with more than 22,600 positive cases.

"Now that we have the clear evidence that supports what we believed to begin with, we have to reopen the gyms,” Sharoshkin said.

  • Steel MMA
  • Performance 360
  • TITLE Boxing Club
  • F45 Bressi Ranch
  • Self Made Training Center
  • Grinder Gym
  • Crossfit PB
  • San Diego Strength and Wellness
  • PMSI, doing business as APEX School of Movement, San Diego
  • Brainstorm Fitness
  • Kickforce
  • ATOS Jiu- Jitsu
  • Carlsbad Kick Boxing
  • Yoga Box
  • F45 Carmel Mountain Ranch
  • Shock Fitness
  • F-Max Fitness, SP
  • Hardcore Fitness
  • 10th Planet San Diego Jiu Jitsu
  • The Boxing Club Sport & Fitness
  • Powerhouse Pilates,
  • F45 4s Ranch
  • F45 East Hillcrest
  • F45 La Jolla
  • Perpetual Motion Solutions, Inc., doing business as APEX School of Movement, San Diego
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