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San Francisco Fitness Studio Coalition Demands City Rescind Health Order

SAN FRANCISCO (CBS SF) -- The lawyer for a group of independent San Francisco fitness studios has demanded that city officials rescind the health order prohibiting indoor training after the health official who issued the order admitted there was no rational reason behind the ban.

Trenton H. Norris, who is working as pro bono counsel for the San Francisco Independent Fitness Studio Coalition, sent a letter to Mayor London Breed, City Attorney Dennis Herrera and Health Officer Dr. Tomas Aragón calling on San Francisco to rescind the health order that has shuttered fitness studios from indoor activity since March 16.

The letter cited a recent admission by Aragón during a virtual meeting of the city's Small Business Commission. During the meeting, when asked why small fitness studios was prohibited from operating in the same safe way physical therapists and hair salons are allowed to operate, Aragón responded, "I can't give you a rational reason why a physical therapist can do this and someone who does personal services, who I know can mitigate risk, can't."

Norris argues that the city is unconstitutionally denying "independent fitness studios due process and equal protection of the laws while also taking their property without just compensation" in his request that health officials adjust the order within the next seven days.

The Coalition represents over 60 small neighborhood fitness businesses in San Francisco that employ more than 700 workers and provide training services for nearly 24,000 city residents as clients.

Earlier this week, the owners of fitness centers and gyms in San Francisco also called on the city to re-designate them as essential businesses.

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