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Planet Fitness reopens

After having been closed since March, the Planet Fitness in Albemarle reopened Tuesday morning, according to a message the gym posted on its Facebook page.

It was allowed to reopen thanks to a medical exemption that other gyms in North Carolina, including Gold’s Gym in Albemarle, have already used to accommodate people who need exercise for health reasons.

But the exemption will soon no longer be necessary since Gov. Roy Cooper announced Tuesday afternoon that fitness facilities could operate under 30 percent capacity as part of the state’s new Phase 2.5 guidelines, which will go into effect 5 p.m. Friday.

“As always, the safety of our team and members is our top priority, and we’ve been working hard to get ready to welcome you back and provide you with the clean, sanitary, and judgement free workout experience you love,” the gym posted on its Facebook on Sunday.

The Stanly News and Press reached out to the gym, but they declined to comment and instead gave the SNAP a corporate email to reach out to for more information. Planet Fitness then provided The SNAP with a statement, saying it looks forward to safely reopening and getting people moving again.

“At Planet Fitness, the safety of our members and team members is our top priority. We are taking a number of steps to protect their health and well-being, which include enhanced cleanliness and sanitation policies and procedures, physical distancing measures in our large and spacious clubs, mask mandates, touchless check-in and more. Using these protocols, we have safely reopened more than 1,500 Planet Fitness locations across the country with 45+ million check-ins since May 1 and no cases of contracting COVID-19 at the gym. Now more than ever, it’s important to stay active, in order to stay healthy. This is especially important for the many Planet Fitness members in North Carolina who live in underserved areas that do not provide other safe, reliable and affordable options for physical fitness.”

“I feel like it’s great that Planet Fitness has opened back up,” said member Relle Laree, who grew up in Albemarle and currently lives in Montgomery County. “A lot of people really need the option of being able to work out in the gym right now to help keep them healthy during the COVID-19 virus.”

Laree worked out each week day for three hours before the pandemic and said she “definitely” was planning to go back. She especially likes the gym’s treadmills, which she uses while she is warming up at the start of her workout and while she’s cooling down after her workout.

 

About Chris Miller

Chris Miller has been with the SNAP since January 2019. He is a graduate of NC State and received his Master's in Journalism from the University of Maryland. He previously wrote for the Capital News Service in Annapolis, where many of his stories on immigration and culture were published in national papers via the AP wire.

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