Rep. Alzate and Rep. Casimiro Question Governor’s Closing of Gyms During 2-Week COVID-19 ‘Pause’
STATE HOUSE – Rep. Karen Alzate (D-Dist. 60, Pawtucket) and Rep. Julie A. Casimiro (D-Dist. 31, North Kingstown, Exeter) are questioning Governor Raimondo’s decision to close gyms during the COVID-19 “2-week pause” scheduled to begin on November 30.
“I know the pandemic has been hard on everyone, especially our state’s small businesses. Our fitness industry has been particularly devastated and this forced closing for 2 weeks will have severe impacts for these businesses that are struggling to survive. While they have invested so much money into safely operating during the pandemic, many of these owners and employees feel they are being unfairly singled out for closure while large retail establishments are permitted to continue operating. We all want to do our part to ensure that we pass through this pandemic safely, but we must do this fairly for all businesses and not just a select few,” said Representative Alzate.
“As we are about to enter into the tenth month of this pandemic, the physical, mental, and economic effects of this virus are taking a serious toll on our residents. We know that people’s mental health is straining and that suicides and substance abuse episodes are also dramatically up during these trying times. We also know that exercise not only helps protect against the effects of this virus, but it is also crucial in battling mental illness, seasonal depression, and a wide variety of other ailments that have only been exacerbated during the pandemic. We must take a hard look at whether closing these gyms will be beneficial to our residents’ health and our state’s economy,” said Representative Casimiro.
Both Representatives Alzate and Casimiro are strongly urging the governor to reconsider her decision to close gyms during the “2-week pause.”