Judge orders Minnesota gym that defied shutdown to close

Attorney General Keith Ellison sued the gym after it remained open.
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Plainview

A district court judge has issued a temporary injunction closing a Wabasha County gym that stayed open in defiance of Gov. Tim Walz's four-week shutdown to prevent COVID-19 spread.

Plainview Wellness Center refused to close after Gov. Walz's latest order went into effect, requiring a "pause" in dine-in service at restaurants and bars, and the closure of gyms, fitness centers, and entertainment venues.

Attorney General Keith Ellison filed a lawsuit seeking a temporary restraining order and a temporary injunction against the business last week, and on Wednesday the Wabasha County District Court approved the injunction.

As a result, the court has ordered that the gym must close to the public and its members through the end of the executive order, which is due to expire at the end of Dec. 18, unless it is extended by the governor.

“I’m glad the court recognized the seriousness of the pandemic and the firm legal foundation of the State’s efforts to halt the spread of it,” Attorney General Ellison said. 

"Stopping the spread of COVID-19 is everyone’s responsibility. I thank the vast majority of Minnesota businesses that have complied with executive orders and done their part to stop it, and it’s my hope that all businesses will understand their responsibility to comply. I recognize the sacrifice that most businesses have made: they deserve assistance, not unfair competition."

Ellison says Plainview represented the first action his office has brought under the governor's latest order, and only the third enforcement action in total during the pandemic.

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