RALEIGH – North Carolina gym owners have had enough. Having suffered under the longest mandated closures in the country at the hands of Governor Roy Cooper, chains O2 Fitness, Planet Fitness and Crunch Fitness are citing medical exemptions and plan to opening their doors.
The businesses cite a medical exemption referenced in a letter from Attorney General Josh Stein, saying that gyms can be used for medical purposes. But since it’s prohibited to ask patrons for medical information, a simple ‘Doctor’s Orders’ will do.
“[…] chain gyms made it clear that they only plan to serve members with “a medical need to exercise.” However, the gyms will not require medical documentation at check-in to respect “personal privacy.”
Governor Roy Cooper has not given gyms the green light to reopen. Phase Two is extended until Sept. 11. Gyms were set to reopen under Phase Three which would also allow for the reopening of bars and entertainment venues.
In a briefing last week, NCDHHS Dr. Mandy Cohen said gyms should not be open because “it is a place for more viral transmission.”
“Even if your gym is open, which it should not be, the reason we are concerned about gyms is when you are exercising, you are breathing heavier. We know it is a place for more viral transmission,” Cohen said on Tuesday. “Gyms are not supposed to be open.”
Other gyms in the state have reopened using the loophole since Cooper’s original executive order closing businesses in March.
O2 Fitness in North Carolina, however, stated on Thursday they have begun a phased reopening after previously claiming that there is no evidence that fitness facilities contribute to the spread of COVID-19.
“O2 Fitness has begun a phased reopening of our North Carolina Clubs in order to serve our members who have been advised by a medical professional to exercise to improve their health. We are reopening thoughtfully, responsibly, and safely,” the gym wrote in a statement. […]”
Here is the media statement from O2 Fitness:
Dr. Cohen’s nagging about heavy breathing in the gyms sounds an awful lot like she’s trying to prevent any transmission of the virus — or ANY virus — at all. If that seems unrealistic, that’s because it is; it is also completely contrary to the original goals set to avoid overwhelming hospitals.
It is becoming redundant at this point, but is still worth repeating: OUR HOSPITALS ARE NOWHERE CLOSE TO BEING OVERWHELMED. They never really were, yet the stated goals of lockdown policies quickly became fluid in order for Cooper and Cohen to find justification for such policies.
As the reality that we are NOT facing a public health EMERGENCY becomes obvious to more and more people, these businesses are refusing to sacrifice themselves to the sanctimonious virtue signaling of politicians.
It’s about time.