San Luis Obispo fitness center fined for COVID violations loses attraction


OPINION AND COMMENTARY

Editorials and different Opinion content material provide views on points essential to our group and are impartial from the work of our newsroom reporters.

Lastly, widespread sense prevails.

A Superior Court docket commissioner has dominated that Kennedy Membership Health violated COVID-19 lockdown orders and owes the town of San Luis Obispo $7,000 in fines.

There was by no means any query that Kennedy Membership broke the principles.

The favored health heart didn’t even attempt to disguise the truth that it allowed shoppers to train indoors throughout a time period when a number of varieties of companies have been restricted to outdoor-only operations.

Slightly, Kennedy claimed the town didn’t comply with correct authorized process when it adopted emergency guidelines — first within the type of a decision after which in an ordinance — to implement the state’s COVID-19 public well being orders.

When the town of San Luis Obispo served Kennedy with notices of violation, the fitness center appealed, first to a city-appointed administrative evaluation board and, after shedding there, to Superior Court docket.

In a written resolution launched Aug. 20, Superior Court docket Commissioner Leslie Kraut dismissed Kennedy’s arguments and concluded the town had acted correctly.

Assemblyman Jordan Cunningham, who additionally maintains a non-public regulation observe, represented Kennedy.

“My shoppers are upset within the end result, clearly, however respect the method,” Cunningham wrote in an e-mail. “Their preliminary attraction raised points with the town’s enforcement regime — points that the town needed to repair by passing a brand new ordinance and making use of that ordinance retroactively. We proceed to imagine this was unconstitutional and legally improper, and are taking a look at choices for additional attraction. “

Kennedy Membership’s resolution to stay open throughout the lockdown was motivated partly by economics, however as Commissioner Kraut’s ruling factors out, operators of the fitness center additionally believed they have been offering a helpful service that helped hold members wholesome.

“KCF believed they have been doing extra good than hurt by remaining open for his or her patrons regardless of the prohibition in opposition to indoor fitness center use when the citations have been issued. Nevertheless, KCF, in addition to another fitness center, restaurant, faculty, theatre, or indoor-gathering group, was not certified to make public well being determinations about danger to the general public’s well being,” the ruling says.

That cuts straight to the center of the matter; Kraut’s well-written resolution clearly, succinctly and unequivocally acknowledges that solely public well being companies have the authority to make public well being selections.

That wanted to be mentioned, loud and clear. All through this pandemic, far too many individuals have determined they know higher than the medical specialists, and we see the place that’s gotten us.

We’re approaching the year-and-a-half anniversary of the preliminary lockdown, and COVID-19 is surging once more, bringing with it one other spherical of hospitalizations, deaths and distress for these left behind.

Choosing and selecting which guidelines and suggestions to comply with has so much to do with that.

As a lot as we sympathize with the monetary hardships companies have suffered throughout this terrible pandemic, given the circumstances, it’s arduous to miss the truth that some selected to violate well being guidelines.

In his e-mail, Cunningham wrote that Kennedy Membership is “glad to be open and safely serving their clients.”

“It’s a undeniable fact that not a single case of COVID-19 has been traced to any of their health amenities, they usually stay dedicated to secure operation with the best well being requirements,” he added.

That’s good to know, however whether or not or not there have been COVID circumstances traced to Kennedy Membership Health is just not actually the purpose.

If it have been, it may simply as simply be argued that it’s OK to run a cease signal or shoot off unlawful fireworks or drive drunk simply so long as nobody will get damage.

The actual fact is, all these actions are inherently harmful, which is why they’re prohibited.

No one is above the regulation, not even a revered enterprise like Kennedy Membership Health, and particularly not when lives could possibly be at stake.

It’s time for Cunningham and his consumer to chop their losses and for KCF pay up.

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