Atilis Gym offers free membership to customers who refuse COVID vaccine, despite advice from New Jersey officials – CBS New York


BELMAWR, NJ (CBSNewYork / CBSPhilly) – A New Jersey gymnasium at the center of controversy throughout the coronavirus pandemic is now giving a gift to anyone who does not receive the COVID vaccine.

Atilis Gym, in Bellmawr, first made headlines last year when he repeatedly challenged Governor Phil Murphy’s shutdown order.

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Gym owner Ian Smith posted on Twitter that the gym will offer free memberships to anyone who doesn’t get the vaccine after learning of Krispy Kreme’s decision to give free donuts to anyone who gets the shots.

“In light of Krispy Kreme giving free donuts for receiving CVD [sic] shot, here at Atilis Gym we offer free memberships to anyone who doesn’t get the shot, ”Smith tweeted. “We believe in health – the real way – exercise, good nutrition, lots of vitamin D, zinc and an environment to relax.”

Atilis Gym opened in May 2020, starting a legal battle over whether Murphy’s order to shut down non-essential businesses was constitutional. The gymnasium was fined more than $ 130,000 last year for repeatedly defying state orders.

More than half a million Americans have died from the COVID-19 virus since the start of the pandemic.

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The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said this week that about 85 million people in the United States have received at least one dose of a vaccine and more than 46 million are fully vaccinated. The medical community and government officials are urging the public to get vaccinated as soon as possible.

However, despite advances in vaccination, there is a resurgence of infections in the tri-state area, with New Jersey, Pennsylvania and Delaware seeing an increase in cases.

New Jersey now has the third highest positivity rate in the country and hospitalizations topped 2,000 for the first time in a month.

Officials blame the variants and viral fatigue. People aren’t as careful with masks and distancing, and although vaccinations are on the rise, they haven’t been given to enough people to stop the rise in cases.

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Murphy said he would delay lifting more restrictions until it is clear the number of cases is moving in the right direction.

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