24-Hour Fitness Getting Backlash for Charging Members Despite Gym Closures Amid Pandemic

Due to millions of Americans being quarantined to their homes and many businesses shutting their doors, one gym is now getting scrutinized for still charging their members a monthly fee even though they can't actually access the gym right now due to the coronavirus pandemic. 24 Hour Fitness members aren't happy that they're still getting charged when they aren't able to utilize the gym. However, the gym is saying that it will add on a free month at the end of their memberships.

According to TMZ, the company's gyms have been shut down nationwide since March 16, but say that payments made between March 17 and April 15 will not be refunded. But to make up for their current charges now, they'll be adding on a free month at the end of each affected customer's membership. The gym said they'll stop billing their members on April 16 and will decided whether they can re-open or not.

After Disney announced they were temporarily closing their amusement parks, they did the same thing by continuing to charge their annual pass members a fee — but then quickly gave refunds. "While there is still much uncertainty with respect to the impacts of COVID-19, the safety and well-being of our guests and employees remains the Walt Disney Company's top priority," a Disney spokesperson said in a statement. "As a result of this unprecedented pandemic and in line with direction provided by health experts and government officials, Disneyland Resort and Walt Disney World Resort will remain closed until further notice. The Walt Disney Company has been paying its cast members since the closure of the parks, and in light of this ongoing and increasingly complex crisis, we have made the decision to extend paying hourly parks and resorts cast members through April 18."

The parks' decision followed the death of a 34-year-old man named Jeffrey Ghazarian who died after contracting the virus and developing COVID-19 and who visited both Universal Orlando and Disney World just before his death. Following so many cases in the U.S., as people isolate themselves within their home, it's hard for some to not want to get outside and get fresh air. Citizens have been visiting different parks around the nation but even those are starting to shut down. The Grand Canyon National Park announced they would be closing their gates amid the crisis.

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"The Department of the Interior and the National Park Service will continue to follow the guidance of state and local health officials in making determinations about our operations," Interior Secretary David Bernhardt said in a statement. He went on to say that the decision came after the recommendation of the chief health officer in Coconino County, Arizona.