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Governor's stay-at-home order allows for summer camps, but not gyms in most of Michigan

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Posted at 6:39 PM, Jun 15, 2020
and last updated 2020-06-15 19:12:51-04

SOUTHFIELD, Mich. (WXYZ) — "We were shut down March 13 and that day was it," said Claire Ahearn, owner of Class Action Fitness, Inc., who is frustrated that despite being able to sanitize and social distance her members, she still can't reopen her 3,000 square foot fitness facility in Rochester.

Beginning June 15, Governor Gretchen Whitmer's executive order allows for you to get a haircut and parents to send their children to summer camp. But the controversial still prohibits gyms that are not located in upper Michigan or the Upper Peninsula from reopening.

"Drives me crazy," said Paul Cox who co-owns two Anytime Fitness locations in South Lyon with his brother.

Cox said long before COVID-19, they were sanitizing equipment and taking more precautions than busy grocery stores.

"They don't hand you a spray bottle at Kroger as you walk around and clean stuff. You go touch groceries and put them back, nobody cleans those," Cox said. "We clean all of our equipment daily."

Cox said they have added extra bottles of sanitizer around their gyms, masks for employees, and they have spaced pieces of equipment six feet apart so their members can socially distance while working out.

Some gym owners have made the decision to reopen with safety measures in place despite the order.

"The members need the relief," said Paul Prinzi who owns the Xtreme Fitness Gym on Gratiot Avenue in Chesterfield Township. "Also, the employees were willing to come back and, basically, everyone has had enough. It seems like it's over and we need to get back to normal life."

A spokesperson for the governor's office said Whitmer expects the reopening phase that will include gyms and movie theaters to happen by July 4.

"Let us open. Let us get back to normal.. as normal can be," said Cox.

"All of our bills just keep piling up," he said. "We're just struggling. I fight with getting unemployment right now on top of it. So, I need to get open and not lose my business. We've owned these Anytimes for 12 years."