Plainview fitness center responds to lawsuit to shut down

In the 22-page memorandum in opposition to the temporary restraining order filed by the Minnesota Attorney General’s Office last week, attorney Vincent J. Fahnlander asked a judge to deny the state’s request for a temporary restraining order.

The Minnesota Attorney General’s Office filed a lawsuit against Plainview Wellness Center and its owner, Brandon Reiter, on Nov. 24.

RELATED: Minnesota Attorney General’s Office files lawsuit against Plainview fitness center

The lawsuit alleged that Reiter’s fitness center is violating Gov. Tim Walz’s Executive Order 20-99 — which ordered that fitness centers and other places of entertainment close, and that bars and restaurants suspend indoor service, for four weeks — by remaining open past when the order went into effect.

Plainview Fitness Center has been in business since 2013. Earlier this year, Reiter reopened his gym on May 1, which was in defiance of the initial stay-at-home order.

“Rather than close again, Reiter choses to keep PWC open with even more safety protocols in place than the big box stores and other opened businesses are using,” the filing reads. “Mr. Reiter believes it is discrimination for the Executive Orders to close his small business, while large businesses, with frequent more and more close contact by shoppers, remain open.”

Arguing against the state’s request for a temporary restraining order, Fahnlander says the state’s argument that gyms and health clubs are a significant source of outbreaks has been “debunked.”

According to the AG’s filing, the Minnesota Department of Health’s contact-tracing investigations have shown that apart from long-term care settings, gyms are among the settings most frequently associated with COVID-19 outbreaks in the state. MDH has traced 49 outbreaks and 750 cases of COVID-19 to gyms in the state.

Fahnlander also argues that less-restrictive alternatives exist to protect public health. The filing cites research conducted by Mayo Clinic that concluded that mask wearing, social distancing and hand washing work well in halting or slowing the transmission of COVID-19.

If a judge were to grant the state’s request of a temporary restraining order, Reiter and his fitness center “faces irreparable harm,” he wrote.

“The State waves this away as ‘temporarily closing to the public for four weeks.’ However, in practice this is likely to mean irreparable injury to and perhaps even the death of Defendant’s business,” the filing states. “This is in addition to the detriments to the health and mental and emotional wellbeing of the people who depend on Defendant’s business.”

The filing also argues that Executive Order 20-99 is unconstitutional and the governor overstepped his authority and violated the separation of powers.

“The Executive Order violates Defendant’s constitutional rights, as some activity is allowed, while other activity of equal or more danger is barred,” the filing states. “There is no rational basis for treating the Defendant differently than the other indoor facilities in which people are allowed to gather. The State has provided no evidence that exercise has been shown to lead to an increase in Covid-19 transmissions, instead, relying on studies that examine completely

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Mogg named new Covenant Health Plainview CEO

She began her career as a Data Processing Clerk.

In a make-shift office, now used as a closet, Cassie Mogg spent countless hours keying in numbers for the hospital’s finance department.

Spending years engulfed in the financials of the hospital, Mogg cut her teeth in the medical world, while also earning her master’s degree and starting a family.

Through 12 years of hard work and tenacity, Mogg has accomplished a lot.

Now the determined 33-year-old, who has far outgrown her cramped surroundings, is ready to step through a new doorway into a new role. The former Chief Financial Officer and Chief Operating Officer has been named Covenant Health Plainview’s new Chief Executive Officer.

“I am extremely pleased to announce that Cassie Mogg will be moving into the Plainview CEO position on January 1, 2021,” said Covenant Health’s Regional CEO, Richard Parks in a statement on Mogg’s new role.

“Cassie has proven herself to be a more than capable leader for our ministry there in Plainview and I am thankful for her efforts through the years. She certainly has the competence, physician relationships, and the Board’s confidence (as well as mine) to assume this important and well-deserved promotion.”

Mogg follows current Covenant Health Plainview CEO, Alan King, who announced his re-retirement on Thursday.

“I truly believe in Cassie and her abilities,” said King, who for the last 12 years has served as a mentor for Mogg.

“I have watched her grow into the leader that Plainview deserves and will appreciate. I wish her the very best moving forward.”

Mogg has served as the CFO for Covenant Health Plainview since 2013 and moved into the COO seat earlier this year.

“I feel very honored that I was chosen to be in a position where I can serve our incredible caregivers, physicians and community,” said Mogg.

“Covenant Health Plainview holds a large part of my heart. The culture of Covenant is what makes it so special. The value we put on human life and our mission for healing all people, physically, mentally, and spiritually is what sets us apart. Being part of a hospital that has a 5-star rating from CMS (one of only 407 in the nation) is amazing, but being asked to lead that organization is an incredible privilege.”

Mogg elaborated that she is truly in awe at the level of selfless care and compassion Covenant Health Plainview caregivers pour out for patients, especially during this unpresented pandemic.

“The frontline caregivers and the leadership team in Plainview are truly unlike any other,” added Mogg.

“If COVID-19 has taught me anything about our team, it is that we have some of the most passionate, selfless caregivers. Our caregivers truly care about the patients in our community and have sacrificed a lot to make sure our patients receive exceptional care, delivered with dignity and excellence.”

“I tell people often that God is not surprised by COVID-19 and He will lead us through this difficult time. 2020 has been a challenging year to say

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