Skip to main content

Life Time requests access to all Minnesota government data about gyms and COVID-19

Life Time wants access to all documents, letters, emails, text messages, notes, reports and meeting minutes.
Life Time

Life Time Fitness is going to shut down per Gov. Tim Walz's latest executive order aimed at slowing down the spread of COVID-19, but the fitness giant remains unhappy with the governor's decision.

On Friday, Life Time filed a data practices request as it wants to see all communication from state officials regarding information about fitness centers and COVID-19 dating back to March 6, 2020. The filing requests access to any data from documents, letters, emails, text messages, notes, reports and meeting minutes. 

It also seeks all information related specifically to Life Time Fitness. 

Minnesota fitness centers were ordered to close at 11:59 p.m. Friday for four weeks as part of the governor's latest pandemic-related orders. Walz, speaking on a press call Friday, said he'll provide Life Time whatever it needs in a "timely manner." 

"We will gladly provide all the data they request," said Walz. "Their frustrations and their desire to do this are not malicious. They are simply looking out for their interest, which they should."

On Tuesday, just hours before Walz ordered gyms to close, Life Time CEO Bahram Akradi argued with the state's reasoning for shutting gyms and fitness centers down, saying the data the state cites doesn't paint the picture that they are a problem.

According to the data, 48 outbreaks at Minnesota clubs have contact traced for a total of 747 cases out of the 242,043 total cases, though health officials have noted that the point of transmission in the community in a growing number of cases is unknown.

That means while there may be 747 "primary" cases linked to gyms and fitness centers, the number of secondary and tertiary infections that result from the original infectee could put the true number in the thousands.

Follow Bring Me The News on YouTube

Nonetheless Akradi argues that gyms are safe, saying: "If the facts supported that closing our healthy-way-of-life places would be beneficial to the public, we would be doing it voluntarily, immediately.

"We have brought back 4,000 of our people since we reopened the clubs in Minnesota. With a complete shutdown, which I will not accept, I would have to send 4,000 employees back home at a time when there is no stimulus money for them, right before the holidays. How can we do this?" he said. 

Speaking about the connection between physical and mental health on Friday, Walz said he's aware of that "strong connection" but the data shows fitness centers, where people are "breathing heavily," can be dangerous with the current level of COVID-19 transmission in Minnesota. 

Health Commissioner Jan Malcolm said: "We do have numbers that do quantify some level of risk, but it's really just the inherent risk in the environment."

Next Up

Wild

Wild flip the script, dominate Blackhawks

Ryan Hartman scored twice to earn the first game of a back-to-back.

Hopkins Basketball

Hopkins suffers rare loss to No. 1 ranked Sidwell Friends

The Royals held their own in a battle of the nation's best.

argue-wertman booking photos

Charges: 2 teens responsible for violent carjacking spree across Twin Cities

They face a combined 31 felony counts, all tied to carjackings and related crimes.

rep nolan west mn house

MN rep. says he was 'assaulted' at activist group's public meeting

The Republican said a man grabbed his arms and yanked him from the room.

Screen Shot 2022-01-20 at 12.56.52 PM

What were the 'bizarre things' seen in Minnesota's sky?

The mysterious streaks were not UFOs and they weren't pieces of an asteroid.

icicles, freezing weather, cold weather

Booming noises in the night could be frost quakes

The loud sounds are most likely to happen during the middle of the night.

coronavirus, coronavirus test, covid-19

Free COVID testing site to open in St. Paul for 3 weeks

The federal testing site comes as demand for testing remains high.

Reyel Simmons photo 1 - complaint - crop

MN TikToker accused of faking federal agent life pleads guilty

He told his 10,000 followers he was a Homeland Security agent — authorities say it was a lie.

Wilf

Report: Vikings request second interview with 2 GM candidates

Ryan Poles of the Chiefs and Kwesi Adofo-Mensah of the Browns.

Amaya Battle

Hopkins takes on No. 1 team in the country on ESPNU Friday

The game will feature a pair of top recruits in the Class of 2022.

st. paul federation of educators - teachers

Educators in Minneapolis, St. Paul could strike amid contract negotiations

Teachers and support staff are demanding smaller class sizes, mental health support and better pay.

Related

Life Time

Life Time encourages members to lobby Walz over COVID-19 measures

The CEO says it could end up temporarily laying off 4,000 workers.

restaurant

Reports: Gov. Walz to allow dine-in service to resume, gyms to reopen

The governor will provide an official update at 2 p.m. Friday.

Plainview

Small town gym refusing to close facing lawsuit from attorney general

The gym is facing a lawsuit and a temporary restraining order to halt their operations.

YMCA

YMCA to stagger reopening of Twin Cities locations

The Y hopes all metro locations will be open again by early August.

Plainview

More than $12K donated to MN gym owner who refused to close

The small business is located in town in Wabasha County.

Tim Walz

Gov. Walz: Minnesota has bought time against the COVID-19 outbreak

Data shows that community mitigation in Minnesota is working to slow the spread.