Gym Fined Nearly $10K Per Day for Remaining Open in Defiance of Coronavirus Restrictions

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Staying locked down can be hugely expensive for businesses. However, for one particular business in Washington State, remaining open has its costs as well.

Graham Fitness, a gym based in Graham, Washington, was recently hit with eight violations for defying Governor Jay Inslee’s Safe Start” order. One violation for each day they have defied the order. The resulting fines accumulated over the eight days total $77, 112.

“Owner Michael Knick is operating the business and vows to keep it open, despite the fines which amount to $9,639 per day,” the News Tribune reported. “Other businesses have been fined the same amount per day but Graham’s Fitness is the largest total amount.”

Despite the large fines, Knick has no intention of shutting down.

“They can fine me whatever they want,” Knick stated. “I don’t have it.”

The fines assessed cover the time period from November 30-December 7.

“These are citations and fines for violations that occurred,” Washington Department of Labor and Industries spokesman Tim Church said. “He had employees and continued to be open, putting them at risk.”

Knick, however, claimed in a December 6 social media post, that all of his employees were home on paid leave, and thus not under the L&I’s jurisdiction, the News Tribune reports. Furthermore, Knick has sought to protect his customers by providing hand sanitizer and performing frequent washdowns.

Though, Knick does not enforce mask-wearing.

“I’m just a little guy trying to survive here, getting smashed by the non-constitutional respecting government,” he stated.

Knick has appealed to the Freedom Foundation, a conservative think tank, in his fight against Inslee’s coronavirus restrictions.