WILMINGTON, N.C. (WECT) – After gym and health club owners across the state filed lawsuits to stop Governor Roy Cooper’s orders to keep gyms closed, the North Carolina Attorney General’s Office argued that there are safe ways for people to exercise.
But now, gyms all over the state are opening their doors after nearly three months of being closed due to fears of spreading the coronavirus.
“What’s been nice is that we’ve worked together,” said Skip Lennon, the owner of TF Fitness + Nutrition. “Here in Wilmington along with other groups in the state to make sure we’re all opening together and doing the same thing in the industry.”
A letter from NC Attorney General Josh Stein’s Office that was sent out on Friday says that indoor gyms can be open when members have orders or prescriptions from a doctor saying they need to exercise for their health.
“We’ve sent out emails and stuff communicating with those people that while we’re opening, we’re still asking that you only come if you have a medical condition or here in adherence to the attorney general’s letter as well,” said Lennon.”
“The Governor interprets Executive Order No. 141 to allow the use of indoor gyms or fitness facilities when that use is prescribed by or directed by a medical professional,” said Special Deputy Attorney Phil Rubin in the letter.
“I think a variety of different commodities and disease processes, you’ll see exercise as a strong benefit to helping their physical function and their overall well-being,” said Brandon Adams.
Adams is a Physical Therapist for BenchMark Physical Therapy in Wilmington. He says a major part of his job is to prescribe patients to exercise outside of his office.
“I think we can be just be continuing to advocate for movement health, and do so in a safe effective way, I think the services of what our community’s physicians, and physical therapists and the fitness industries are providing I think are going to be great resources to stay healthier,” said Adams.
“We can assure that you are safe in here,” said Steve Uebele, the owner of Anytime Fitness in Wilmington. “That equipment is clean and facilities are up to par with all of the guidelines.”
Uebele and Lennon say they aren’t going to ask questions and trust that their members are there in compliance with the law.
“Everybody that comes in has a need, both mentally and physically, to exercise,” said Uebele.
WECT has reached out to law enforcement to learn how this will be enforced.
An announcement regarding Phase Three is expected to be made by the end of the month.
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