Gyms, fitness centers not contributing to COVID-19 clusters in NC so far


RALEIGH, N.C. (WNCN) — Despite being one of the last industries to be able to reopen in North Carolina, gyms and fitness centers are not contributing to major spread of COVID-19.

Governor Roy Cooper allowed them to reopen almost three months ago.

“It is important people are able to work out and it really broke my heart when the gyms all closed,” said Karen O’Leary, Life Time Fitness member.

O’Leary said she’s felt comfortable being back at Life Time Fitness in Cary.

“I think the gyms wanting to be open, wanting to stay open, they’re being particularly diligent,” she said.

General Manager James Garcia said they’re taking many precautions from spacing out equipment to disinfecting to doing mask and temperature checks of all members.

“Many of them have said, ‘I wasn’t sure what to expect, but now that I’ve come and I’ve taken a class or I’ve gotten a workout in, I feel much better,'” said Garcia.

They’re seeing about half the number of people they typically would, but they said out of all their Life Time locations and millions of visits, they’ve had less than .004 percent COVID-19 cases.

“The risk is very low and I think the risk of not exercising is probably even greater than coming in and getting a workout,” said Garcia.

North Carolina health officials haven’t tied a COVID-19 cluster to a gym or fitness center so far. A cluster is five or more cases.

“We knew we could operate a safe environment for our members,” said Ben Wright, owner of F45 Training in Raleigh.

Wright said along with other safety measures, they’re holding smaller classes so people have space.

“It’s a big outlet for people mentally to go along with all the physical aspects as well,” said Wright. “For our community, it’s extremely essential.”

Wright said he’d like to see the government work alongside the fitness industry to keep promoting healthy living both physically and mentally.

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