BOARDMAN, Ohio (WYTV) – On Wednesday, a judge in Lake County, Ohio, ordered that the state cannot punish gyms that open early. So now, as long as gyms maintain COVID-19 protocols, they are allowed to reopen.
A local gym owner was part of the lawsuit against the state.
Last week, Governor Mike DeWine originally said gyms would be allowed to reopen on Tuesday, May 26.
But, the Cleveland-area judge said state Health Director Dr. Amy Acton does not have the authority to fine gyms for already being open.
“It kind of caught me off guard. I wasn’t really prepared but I’m really excited about it,” said Shawn Schumaker, with Team BSS in Boardman.
Schumaker was one of 35 gym owners who sued the state, claiming the rules in place were unconstitutional.
Initially, he was unsure of how the lawsuit would turn out.
“But then after I saw other businesses around the country start opening up and filing lawsuits and actually winning, I started to get a little bit of confidence but I still wasn’t 100% confident on the whole thing,” Schumaker said.
Although we were only less than one week away from May 26, Schumaker said this win isn’t completely pointless.
“If they decide to close other businesses, they cannot close gyms because we had already proven unconstitutional,” he said.
Even though Schumaker is happy to start seeing people back, they still have a few things left to do.
“Set up a few more hand sanitizer stations and we have to meet with the coaches on cleaning protocols. So we’re not running any classes this week, we’re going to start those next week. But other than that, we’re ready to roll,” he said.