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Coronavirus

Court Rules Gyms Will Remain Closed in Michigan

LANSING, Mich. — A federal appeals court ruled gyms and fitness centers will remain closed under Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer's shut down order from months ago.

The 6th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals, in a 3-0 decision late Wednesday, granted an emergency stay sought by the governor. After a lawsuit was filed by indoor fitness facilities, District Judge Paul Maloney in Kalamazoo said last week that gyms could reopen at 12:01 a.m. Thursday.

The appellate judges said while the gym owners who sued bear the risk of losing their businesses, the governor’s interest in combating the coronavirus “is at least equally significant.”

“To date, the disease has infected thousands of Michiganders, and it has shown the potential to infect many more. That the public interest weighs in favor of a stay is apparent for the same reason,” they wrote.

Whitmer planned to let gyms, movie theaters and places like bowling alleys, which closed March 16, reopen in much of Michigan by July 4 if COVID-19 case trends remain favorable.

However, she won’t make an announcement this week, citing concerns about some outbreaks. In the less-populous northern part of the state, gyms and fitness centers could open June 10 if they reduced class sizes and made other changes.

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