Some North Carolina gyms, fitness studios are back open during Phase 2 through loophole

RALEIGH (WTVD) -- Most gyms are "temporarily closed" until Phase 3 goes into effect. However, some spots are reopening through a loophole.

Members are coming and going at Anytime Fitness on Falls of Neuse Road in Raleigh.

A letter from the North Carolina Attorney General's Office is framed on a wall inside the gym.

The letter says indoor gyms or fitness facilities can be used if it's "prescribed by or directed by a medical professional."

The owner told ABC11 she can't ask members about their health because of HIPAA laws, but is happy to see business flowing again and is taking all safety precautions.

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There are several sanitation stations and equipment is spaced out. Personal training sessions and fitness classes are not taking place.

The owner says there's a reservation system and she's operating at less than 20 percent capacity. Other large gyms are considering a similar move.

"We feel like there's no reason we should be closed anymore," said O2 Fitness President Doug Warf.

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He said the company has lost $3.5 million across North Carolina locations because of the shutdown.

"I think if you asked any business to close for five months, it's an unbelievable task," said Warf.

He's also planning to put safety precautions in place and says if anyone were to violate the rules, he would simply cancel their membership.

"We're not like a big box store, like a Walmart or Target that someone's going into. We can prevent you from coming back in if you don't follow our rules," said Ward.

Warf has not said if O2 is definitely going to reopen under the Attorney General's letter or when that might happen.

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The takeaway -- the governor is not giving gyms the green light to reopen. Phase 2 is extended until Sept. 11. However, some gyms and studios are reopening under the attorney general's letter that these spaces can be used for medical purposes.

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