Gym and fitness center owners were elated last week when a federal judge ruled that they could reopen Thursday, despite an order from the governor not to.
Then they were flustered when, just hours before they were to open, a federal appeals court ordered them to hold off while the governor appeals the ruling.
On Wednesday night, the three judges on the U.S. Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals ruled that gyms should stay closed because of the need to protect against COVID-19 spread.
“Though Plaintiffs bear the very real risk of losing their businesses, the Governor’s interest in combating COVID-19 is at least equally significant,” said the judges in their statement.
That leaves the owners of fitness centers in a state of limbo, unsure when or if they will be able to open.
“It was disheartening,” said Lucian Costea, the owner of Powerhouse Gym Kalamazoo in an interview with WWMT. “I felt awful for my members but honestly I saw it coming. I knew she was trying to appeal it and I’m not surprised.”
He said he still had to turn people away early Thursday morning.
The YMCA of Greater Kalamazoo was a little more cautious. It was planning to open on Monday, but has postponed those plans in light of the court’s ruling.
“This situation is very fluid and we will keep you up to date as things progress,” reads an email to members. “It is important to know that we will continue to offer outdoor classes, summer camp and our other currently active community programs.”