Time to Hit the Gym? Governor Signs New Executive Orders that Permit Indoor Gymnasiums and Fitness Centers to Reopen on September 9

On September 3, 2020, Michigan Governor Gretchen Whitmer issued two new Executive Orders, EO 2020-175 and EO 2020-176, regarding Michigan’s Safe Start response to the coronavirus pandemic. Executive Order No. 176 permits the reopening indoor gymnasiums, fitness centers, recreation centers, sports facilities, exercise studios, and indoor pools. These facilities will be permitted to begin reopening to the public on September 9, 2020. Consistent with the reopening of other aspects of the economy, the reopening of these exercise facilities will be subject to strict new safety measures that are prescribed in Executive Order No. 175 and are detailed below: 

The reopened sports and exercise facilities must:

  1. Use best efforts to provide opportunities for patrons to exercise outdoors.
  2. Maintain accurate records, including date and time of entry and exit, names of patrons, and contact information, to aid with contact tracing; and deny entry to any visitor who does not provide at a minimum their name and phone number.
  3. Mandate wearing of facial coverings at all times except when swimming.
  4. Limit capacity in the facility to 25% of the total occupancy limits established by the State Fire Marshal or a local fire marshal.
  5. Configure workout stations or implement protocols to enable six feet of distance between individuals during exercise sessions (or six feet of distance with barriers).
  6. Reduce class sizes, as necessary, to enable at least six feet of separation between individuals, and comply with relevant restrictions on social gatherings and organized events in the Michigan Safe Start Order.
  7. Provide equipment-cleaning products throughout the facility for use on equipment.
  8. Make hand sanitizer, disinfecting wipes, soap and water, or similar disinfectant readily available.
  9. Regularly disinfect exercise equipment, including immediately after use. If patrons are expected to disinfect, post signs encouraging patrons to disinfect equipment.
  10. Ensure that ventilation systems operate properly.
  11. Increase introduction and circulation of outdoor air as much as possible by opening windows and doors, using fans, or other methods.
  12. Regularly clean and disinfect public areas, locker rooms, and restrooms.
  13. Close steam rooms, saunas, jacuzzis, and cold plunge pools.
  14. Post signs outside of entrances instructing individuals not to enter if they are or have recently been sick.

The reopened pool facilities must:

  1. If they are outdoors, limit capacity to 50% of the bather capacity limits described in Rule 325.2193 of the Michigan Administrative Code.
  2. If they are indoors, limit capacity to 25% of the bather capacity limits described in Rule 325.2193 of the Michigan Administrative Code.
  3. Limit capacity on the pool deck to ensure that persons not part of the same household maintain six feet of distance from one another.

Again, masks or other face coverings are not required nor recommended when swimming. 

Community Associations must comply with all restrictions and requirements that govern the operation of commonly used amenities. Community Associations that are clamoring to reopen their gym and workout facilities will be delighted by these recent developments. The additional safety protocols are in line with other requirements that have become somewhat routine during daily life throughout the pandemic. However, some of the requirements, including the need for record keeping for contact tracing, might require Community Associations with these types of exercise facilities to implement new rules and regulations. 

If you have any questions regarding the current Executive Orders, or would like assistance with drafting appropriate rules and regulations, please contact one of the experienced attorneys at our firm.