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WATCH: Gov. Whitmer promises decision soon as Michigan gyms remain closed

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Posted at 4:20 AM, Sep 02, 2020
and last updated 2020-09-02 05:35:13-04

LANSING, Mich. (WXYZ) — Governor Gretchen Whitmer provided an update on the state's response to COVID-19 on Wednesday afternoon, saying she will announce a decision soon on whether gyms will reopen.

It was expected that she would address the future of Michigan gyms and entertainment venues that were shuttered due to the pandemic.

These businesses have been closed more than five months now, and business owners are eager to know what's next.

The Associated Press reports that Whitmer is not expected to issue an order today that would reopen more businesses, but an order is expected later this week.

Today's press conference, according to the AP, is related to a business leader's investment in the Michigan economy.

Fitness club owners tell 7 Action News they need to reopen as fall and winter approach or else they don't know how their businesses will survive without further funding.

"As soon as we did get the news that we did have to close our in person facility, the day that we closed we got online and started doing virtual sessions," said Jessica Zukowski with 4Ever Fit boot camp.

4Ever Fit boot camp adjusted to the times, trying to keep its clients in shape, while adhering to the governor's shut down that remains in effect today – five months and counting.

Fitness centers, bowling alleys, movie theaters and ice arenas are among the venues that have yet to reopen. But an announcement on this is anticipated.

“We are assessing if there are sufficient protocols around businesses that have not yet been engaged to see if we can start to reengage at some level on those fronts," said Gov. Whitmer. "I'm not going to be bullied into making a decision, I’m going to follow the science."

"We’re definitely not bullying the governor. We actually are trying to be part of the solution."

The Michigan Fitness Club Association says it's ready and points to the CDC's findings that obesity lowers chances of fighting off COVID-19.

It's “the science” they say falls in line with what the governor describes.

"Every gym that is in our association has signed a safe start pledge," said Donald Jordan woth F45 Livonia. "A certain set of standards which are actually above and beyond the standard set by Michigan."

Regions 6 and 8 have been open.

"We’ve been ready, we have all of our protocols in place our procedures in place, our staff members have already been trained like everything that we need so we’re ready," said Mindi Priskey with the Mt. Clemens ice arena.

Governor Gretchen Whitmer, Lt. Governor Garlin Gilchrist II, and Michigan Department of Health and Human Services Chief Medical Executive Dr. Joneigh Khaldun will provide an update regarding the state’s response efforts to COVID-19 this afternoon.

They will be joined by a Michigan business leader to announce a significant investment in Michigan's economy to help support small businesses and build communities in our state, according to the governor's office.

The press conference is scheduled for Wednesday, September 2 at 2:30 p.m.

You can watch it live on-air on 7 Action News or online at WXYZ.com or on WXYZ's Facebook page.

Additional Coronavirus information and resources:

Click here for a page with resources including a COVID-19 overview from the CDC, details on cases in Michigan, a timeline of Governor Gretchen Whitmer's orders since the outbreak, coronavirus' impact on Southeast Michigan, and links to more information from the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services, the CDC and the WHO.

View a global coronavirus tracker with data from Johns Hopkins University.

See complete coverage on our Coronavirus Continuing Coverage page.

Visit our The Rebound Detroit, a place where we are working to help people impacted financially from the coronavirus. We have all the information on everything available to help you through this crisis and how to access it.