Coronavirus: 35 gyms throughout Ohio file lawsuit while impatiently awaiting reopening

DAYTON — A 50-plus page lawsuit has been filed in Lake County on the east side of Cleveland near Mentor, representing 35 gyms as plaintiffs in reaction to the state’s phased-in plan to reopen businesses.

None are from Dayton. Two are located in Cincinnati.

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One of the defendants is Dr. Amy Acton, director, Ohio Health Department.

The lawsuit alleges, among other claims, that Acton’s health orders “criminalized all safe gym, fitness, and recreation operations, without providing any process, venue or judicial review to determine whether these Ohioans businesses are in fact safe enough to warrant operations.”

Gov. Mike DeWine, when asked about the lawsuit Tuesday during his media briefing, said, “I get sued a lot.”

DeWine said he’s working on a plan to reopen gyms.

The Greater Dayton YMCA is not a part of the lawsuit and officials there did not want to comment on it, but they’re saying they’re ready to reopen their gyms whenever DeWine OKs it.

“We have a reopening plan. We’re totally prepared to open our facilities. We’ve been doing nothing but deep cleaning and preparing for our Ys to open even since we closed,” said Dale Brunner, president and CEO of Greater Dayton YMCA.

Brunner said their biggest focus now is the social isolation of their senior members. The Y has staff checking on them, he said, and there is an urgency to hear something from the state about when gyms can reopen.

“Social isolation is one of the biggest issues with seniors and in this particular case, us just having a, ‘hey you can open by June 1,’ having a carrot out there prepared and giving us some time to be able to talk to them, ‘hey this is gonna be what it’s like when you come back into our Y,’ is gonna be important,” Brunner said.

Brunner said facilities such as the Y, where there are gyms and swimming pools, will be waiting for two green lights from the state.