Two gym chains plan to reopen their doors in North Carolina on Tuesday.
Gov. Roy Cooper’s order that gyms remain closed is still in effect, but Crunch Fitness and Planet Fitness both announced they are using a medical exception outlined in the executive order that allows gyms to serve members who have a medical need to exercise.
Several North Carolina gyms, including Gold’s Gym, have already used the loophole to reopen.
In a letter to its members, Planet Fitness said, “In efforts to respect your privacy, we will not be requiring medical documentation upon check-in.”
Gyms aren’t allowed to ask members for medical waivers or to talk about medical history because of the Americans with Disabilities Act and medical privacy laws.
Other gyms in North Carolina have opened their doors with a stipulation that people working out must have a doctor’s note – but they can’t ask to see it.
Planet Fitness said employees will take additional steps to strengthen cleanliness policies and procedures to help stop the spread of coronavirus, including daily temperature checks, increased cleaning, implementing a touch-less check-in process and blocking off pieces of equipment for social distancing.
Crunch Fitness said in addition to reopening its gyms, there will also be an outdoor area for people to exercise.
In an update last week, North Carolina Health and Human Services Secretary Dr. Mandy Cohen reminded the public why gyms have remained closed. According to Cohen, people breathe heavier at gyms during exercise, increasing the chance that COVID-19 could be spread through droplets in the air.