Medical loophole allows some North Carolina gyms to reopen; some fitness centers waiting for action from Gov. Cooper

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Tuesday, June 23, 2020
How a medical loophole is allowing some NC gyms to reopen
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How a medical loophole is allowing some NC gyms to reopen

CHAPEL HILL, N.C. (WTVD) -- A medical loophole is allowing some gyms in North Carolina to allow members inside amid the COVID-19 pandemic.

At Crossfit 15-501 in Chapel Hill, ten people can exercise at once and cleaning is vital.

"It's been hard," said general manager Hunter Collins. "The hardest part for me has just been not knowing."

The gym eventually decided to open after discovering a loophole in a June 5th letter from Attorney General Josh Stein.

It said gyms could open as long as their members had a medical purpose for working out.


Under HIPAA guidelines, staff cannot ask members what the medical purpose is.

Fitness 19 off Leesville Road also opened last week under these guidelines.

RELATED: 'This wasn't a choice': North Carolina gym opens despite Gov. Roy Cooper's order keeping fitness centers closed

"Most people have a medical reason for working out," said Collins. "The obesity state in our country is overwhelming."

Doug Warf, president of O2 Fitness, said his clubs are not going that route just yet.

They're waiting for action from Governor Cooper this week even after he vetoed a bill last Friday that would have temporarily opened up fitness centers.

"I think this is a vital week for the fitness industry," said Warf. "The governor has the power to reopen us and do it responsibly. Otherwise, I think what you'll see is that it will go back to the house and senate for what would be a veto override."

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