Indoor gyms in Michigan will be able to reopen this month after a federal judge granted a preliminary injunction against Gov. Gretchen Whitmer’s executive orders that continue to keep indoor gyms closed.
U.S. District Court Judge Paul Maloney said in an opinion published Friday that the state had given a “blanket ‘trust us’ statement that is insufficient to uphold a no-longer-blanket rule.”
Maloney said in the opinion that reopening gyms will be held to the same standards of workplaces are under Whitmer’s other executive orders, adding that “the Court does not wish to ‘flip the switch’ and open gyms immediately, as that would be consistent with Governor Whitmer’s practice.”
Gyms will be allowed to reopen on June 25.
The lawsuit was originally filed against the state in May by a coalition of gyms called the League of Independent Fitness Facilities and Trainers. It alleged that the executive orders keep gyms closed were “broad and overreaching” and “not narrowly tailored to their purpose, as required under constitutional law,” according to a statement from LIFFT at the time.
Gym reopenings are not explicitly included anywhere in the MI Safe Start Plan, although other businesses like restaurants are.
Michigan is currently in Phases 4 and 5 of the MI Safe Start Plan, depending on the area. The Upper Peninsula and the upper half of the Lower Peninsula are both in Phase 5, which is considered low risk and reopens offices and retails. The lower half of the Lower Peninsula is in Phase 4, which is considered medium risk and reopens restaurants and schools.
The lawsuit still awaits a full hearing in the Western District Court in Grand Rapids, according to Fox News.
Michigan currently has more than 67,000 confirmed cases of the coronavirus, according to the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services. The death toll is 6,067 and nearly 45,000 are considered recovered.
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Jordyn Pair is a reporter with The Michigan Star. Follow her on Twitter at @JordynPair. Email her at [email protected]