Michigan judges keep indoor gyms closed due to coronavirus, siding with governor

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A three-judge panel sided with Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer on Wednesday night to keep indoor gyms closed hours before they would have been allowed to reopen.

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"Crises like COVID-19 can call for quick, decisive measures to save lives," the judges said in their ruling. "Yet those measures can have extreme costs — costs that often are not borne evenly. The decision to impose those costs rests with the political branches of government, in this case, Governor Whitmer."

WHO IS MICHIGAN GOV. GRETCHEN WHITMER?

Whitmer, a Democrat who has faced backlash from residents over strict coronavirus lockdown measures, appealed after U.S. District Judge Paul Maloney said last week that gyms could reopen.

Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer addresses members of the media and Midland County residents during a press conference. (Katy Kildee/Midland Daily News via AP)

"Today, three Republican-appointed judges got it right: In the fight against a global pandemic, courts must give governors broad latitude to make quick, difficult decisions," Whitmer spokeswoman Tiffany Brown said in a statement. "The governor will continue to take the actions necessary to save lives."

Michigan gyms are allowed to host outdoor exercise classes if participants follow social distancing guidelines. Gyms have been allowed to reopen in northern Michigan and the Upper Peninsula, according to the Detroit Free Press.

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Gym owners throughout the U.S. are hurting as malls and restaurants reopen but many states are keeping workout facilities closed because of coronavirus.

In North Carolina, gym owners have sued Gov. Roy Cooper for continuously extending gym closures. The earliest that North Carolina gyms could reopen is July 17.

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