A federal judge refused on Monday to pause an order to reopen indoor gyms in Michigan, despite Gov. Gretchen Whiter filing an appeal in a higher court.
U.S. District Court Judge Paul Maloney ruled on Friday that indoor gyms could reopen on June 25. Gyms are not explicitly permitted in the MI Safe Start plan, which denotes when certain industries can reopen in Michigan. Maloney said in his opinion that gyms would be held to the same standard as other workplaces.
Whitmer’s administration asked Maloney to pause the order, according to The Detroit News. Maloney said he was not convinced “that the injunction harms the public interest.”
“The focus must be on the prevention of injury, not merely preservation of the status quo,” Maloney said, according to the outlet.
Maloney’s original ruling was in response to a lawsuit filed against the state n May by a coalition of gyms which claimed the executive orders keeping gyms closed were “broad and overreaching.”
“Unfortunately, on the record before it, the court has not been presented with any evidence that shows a rational relation between the continued closure of indoor gyms and the preservation of public health,” Maloney said, according to The Detroit News.
Whitmer and Robert Gordon, the director for the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services, requested the 6th Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals “immediately” suspend Maloney’s order, The Detroit News reported.
“The last thing that anyone wishes to see is a second wave of the pandemic that may require a return of limitations that have already been relaxed,” wrote state attorneys for Whitmer and Gordon. “The success of the Governor’s efforts has placed Michigan in a small category of states in which the pandemic is significantly receding, and this ruling creates the risk of reversing this trend.”
Michigan has more than 68,000 confirmed cases of the coronavirus and more than 6,000 deaths, according to data from MDHHS. Nearly 50,000 cases are considered recovered.
Jordyn Pair is a reporter with The Michigan Star. Follow her on Twitter at @JordynPair. Email her at [email protected]