Gyms and fitness centers shuttered through Dec. 18 by Gov. Tim Walz claim the state’s own data doesn’t justify the mandate.
From June through Nov. 14, state data reported gyms accounted for 47 COVID-19 outbreaks, making up roughly 7.7% of the states’ 603 total outbreaks during that time.
Ohio Gov. Mike DeWine on Thursday said the state could close bars, restaurants and fitness centers beginning Nov. 19 if the number of new coronavirus cases continues to rise.
“We have not made a final decision on that,” DeWine said of the threatened closures. “If things don’t change in a week, we will have to do this … we’re not trying to pick on bars and restaurants. It’s the last thing we want to do.”
Four business groups sent Gov. Gretchen Whitmer a letter asking to reopen industries that have been closed for five months, although they’re open in certain parts of Michigan and surrounding states.
After five months with no revenue and continued fixed costs, some gyms, movie theaters and bowling alleys are on the brink of bankruptcy.
Ohio business owners who are fed up with Gov. Mike DeWine’s ever-lasting shutdown regulations are joining their lawsuits together into a class action against the state.
Three lawyers are working together to help combine existing lawsuits and are looking for other owners whose livelihoods are being threatened by what they say are unconstitutional orders. The suit against the DeWine administration and other government agencies was filed in the Ohio Court of Common Pleas in Lake County.
Hours before Michigan’s indoor fitness centers were allowed to open for the first time in months, a Sixth U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals panel told the gyms to keep their doors shut.
A three-judge panel issued an emergency stay sought by Gov. Gretchen Whitmer, freezing the preliminary injunction from U.S. District Judge Paul Maloney that would have allowed gyms to open at 12:01 am Thursday.
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.
An organization representing more than 120 Michigan gyms has filed a lawsuit against the state to protest continued closures from the coronavirus pandemic.
The lawsuit, filed Friday by the League of Independent Fitness Facilities and Trainers, names Gov. Gretchen Whitmer and Robert Gordon, the director of the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services. It alleges that the executive orders shutting down gyms are “broad and overreaching” and “not narrowly tailored to their purpose, as required under constitutional law,” according to a statement from LIFFT.
The 1851 Center for Constitutional Law, working on behalf of 35 independent gyms, struck a significant win for their right to exist by persuading a court to rule against Gov. Mike DeWine and Dr. Amy Acton’s “oppressive” shutdown of their businesses.
The Ohio Court of Common Pleas in Lake County on Wednesday handed down a decision that castigated DeWine and the health department director and granted a preliminary injunction to prevent the gym owners from being prosecuted for opening while awaiting a court trial. The ruling is available in its entirety here.