University Heights

University Heights Gym Ordered to Immediately Close After Defying Cease and Desist Letter

The order said the gym could reopen if fitness activities are conducted outdoors in a manner that’s compliant with state and local health guides

NBCUniversal, Inc.

A University Heights fitness center who was issued an order to immediately close by the San Diego County Thursday after it defied a cease and desist order, remained open on Saturday.

In an order sent on Thursday to Boulevard Fitness LLC CEO Shawn Gilbert, the county ordered the immediate shut down of his business’ indoor operation.

The Aug. 6, 2020 county order sent to Boulevard Fitness LLC.

“Despite repeated efforts to educate and enforce State and local law at this property, Boulevard Fitness is currently in non-compliance and the failure to safely operate is an imminent health and safety risk,” stated the order, which was signed by the county public health officer Dr. Wilma Wooten.

When NBC 7 went to Boulevard Gym on Saturday to talk with the owner there was a line of members waiting to get inside.

A line of people is seen waiting to get inside to workout at Boulevard Fitness.

Boulevard Fitness was given a cease and desist order on July 21 and on July 30, San Diego police conducted an inspection to see if it was in compliance, the order states. During the inspection, about 25 patrons were seen at the facility and Gilbert acknowledged that he received the cease and desist order.

“Many were not social distancing or wearing masks,” the order said. “Shawn Gilbert was present and acknowledged receipt of the cease and desist order.”

As a result of the inspection, the gym submitted an updated safe reopening plan to the county. A second inspection was then made at the facility on Wednesday, but this time by the county. It was noted then that Boulevard Fitness was still operating indoors and for that reason, was ordered to immediately shut down.

The order said the gym could reopen if fitness activities are conducted outdoors in a manner that’s compliant with state and local health guides and if its owner submits a revised reopening plan. In the meantime, the closure order must be posted at the entrance of the business.

Gilbert has not returned NBC 7's request for comment.

The county told NBC 7 they are aware the gym is operating and is evaluating the next steps.

The state issued an order in mid-July to ban all indoor operation of gyms.

This is not the first gym not to comply with public health orders.

The San Diego District Attorney has charged the owner of the Ramona Fitness Center for operating during the state's shutdown orders.

Last month, a Vista gym was also ordered to cease its indoor operations while an Oceanside gym was ordered to close its doors immediately. A Pacific Beach fitness center that had operated in violation of the county's public health order was linked to a COVID-19 outbreak late last month. It was unclear if the infections occurred while the business was operating defiantly or before the public health order was modified.

San Diego County was placed in the state’s monitoring list due to the number of positive coronavirus cases. For the latest information on local COVID-19 cases, click here.

CORONAVIRUS IN SAN DIEGO COUNTY: What You Need to Know: Latest Developments | Resources | How to Help | What Has Reopened? | Photos: Coronavirus Impact in SD

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