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Merritt Clubs In Canton Temporarily Closed Following COVID-19 Rule Violations

Editor's Note: A previous version of this story incorrectly stated the number of complaints. 3-1-1, the number to report COVID complaints in the city, was misspoken as 311 complaints. We don't know the actual number of complaints that were made.

BALTIMORE (WJZ) -- A popular gym in southeast Baltimore is temporarily closed due to violations of COVID-19 restrictions.

The city's health department confirmed it ordered the Canton Merritt Clubs location to close Friday.


In a statement, a health department spokesperson said the department continues to get calls about people not wearing face coverings as required:

"While we understand the impacts that the COVID-19 pandemic has had on normal businesses operations, we also know that wearing a face covering is one of the absolute best tools we have to reduce the spread of COVID-19 -and to get all of our businesses open and operating at full capacity again. The Baltimore City Health Department will make every effort to educate businesses on compliance concerns, but when we observe continued compliance issues, we are prepared to temporarily close down a business for the safety of their staff, their patrons, and the wider community.

"Based on 3-1-1 complaints and observations by our inspectors, the Health Department has temporarily closed the Canton Merritt gym location today, and we are currently working with the gym's leadership to ensure that they are able to safely reopen with a plan in place to address the use of face coverings."

Friday evening, the club tweeted it plans to reopen at 7 a.m. Saturday.

In a statement, chief operating officer Mark Miller said:

"Merritt Clubs has always enforced a strict mask policy as we have understood county mandates. We were visited by the Baltimore City Health Department today due to an alleged member mask violation, and we were required to temporarily close our Canton club. After working with the Baltimore City Health Department, we have been permitted to reopen our Canton club tomorrow morning, January 9, at 7 a.m. We thank the health department for working with us and for our members' continued support and cooperation. The well-being of our members, staff and community remains our number one priority."

For the latest information on coronavirus go to the Maryland Health Department's website or call 211. You can find all of WJZ's coverage on coronavirus in Maryland here.

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