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Gov. Whitmer allows gyms to reopen Wednesday at 25% capacity

(WEAU)
Published: Sep. 3, 2020 at 3:10 PM EDT
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LANSING, Mich. (WILX) - Governor Gretchen Whitmer will allow gyms and pools to reopen at 25% capacity beginning Wednesday, Sept. 9.

Governor Gretchen Whitmer today signed Executive Order 2020-176 which allows for the facilities to reopen with safety precautions in place. However, she’s still urging that everyone who goes take safety precautions seriously.

“Throughout this pandemic, we have followed the best science and data available to make decisions that will keep Michiganders safe, and our hard work is paying off. Today we are announcing the reopening of gyms and pools with strict safety measures in place to protect patrons and their families,” said Governor Whitmer. “I urge everyone who plans to hit the gym after these orders go into effect to take these precautions seriously and do everything in their power to protect themselves and their families. Be smart, and stay safe.”

Organized sports will be allowed under the order, but contact sports along with activities that involve shouting are being strongly discouraged.

“Individuals can now choose whether or not to play organized sports, and if they do choose to play, this order requires strict safety measures to reduce risk,” said Chief Medical Executive and MDHHS Chief Deputy for Health Dr. Joneigh Khaldun. “However, we know of 30 reported outbreaks involving athletic teams and facilities in August. Based on current data, contact sports create a high risk of COVID-19 transmission and MDHHS strongly recommends against participating in them at this time. We are not out of the woods yet. COVID-19 is still a very real threat to our families.”

All gyms and pools that reopen will be required to enforce strict safety measures.

The order states that gyms must require wearing of masks at all times, including times of exercise. They must also configure workout stations or implement protocols to enable six feet of distance between individuals during exercise sessions, reduce class sizes to enable at least six feet of separation between individuals, provide equipment-cleaning products throughout the gym, and take various other steps to reduce the chance of disease transmission.

“On behalf of the Michigan Fitness Club Association, we appreciate Governor Whitmer’s announcement regarding the re-opening of gyms and fitness centers,” said Alyssa Tushman, Vice Chair of the Michigan Fitness Club Association. “The health and safety of our members, staff, and the public in general is our top priority. We are well-prepared to ensure a safe, clean environment and we are excited to offer Michiganders the opportunity to resume their exercise routines. We look forward to working with Governor Whitmer and her administration to help build a healthy Michigan.”

Copyright 2020 WILX. All rights reserved.

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