PHOENIX, AZ (3TV/CBS 5) – More than 1,100 Arizona businesses like bars and gyms have applied to state health officials to reopen. It appears at least one Mountainside Fitness plans to open next week, despite not getting approval from the Arizona Department of Health Services. Tom Hatten, CEO and founder of the gyms, was not available for an interview on Saturday, and their spokesperson did not release a comment.
The fitness gym directed Arizona’s Family to a letter sent to their members, which states that they have not received a response from ADHS regarding their application to reopen. Despite that, Mountainside said they plan to reopen August 27 at 4:30 a.m. The letter also states that they hired an outside health assessment company to certify their gym for reopening. The company is called Healthy Verify.
“Mountainside will open as safely as possible,” said Attorney and Healthy Verify Co-founder, Jordan Rose.
Rose said the company was started in March and helped 50 businesses across the country in their efforts to implement safety protocols. She said the business is led by infectious disease doctors and partners with ASU.
“Our medical director looked at their plan and made some enhancements,” said Rose on Mountainside Fitness. The enhancements include online reservations for the gyms, more hand sanitizers, and a mandatory mask requirement for members.
“You’re never going to eliminate the virus but reduce the risk of the virus and operate as safely as possible,” said Rose.
Rose said they sent in their protocols with their application to the state health department. It’s unclear whether or not the protocols hold any water for state health officials or what violations Mountainside Fitness will face if they reopen without approval.
In a statement, a spokesperson for ADHS said:
ADHS has received multiple applications from Mountainside Fitness and has reached out to them attempting to resolve discrepancies among these proposals. The Department continues to process applications and to work with businesses that are willing to implement additional measures to prevent further spread of COVID-19.