Triangle gyms clean up ahead of planned reopening under COVID-19 rules loophole


RALEIGH, N.C. (WNCN) — Employees at Planet Fitness on Strickland Road in Raleigh spent all day Monday getting things prepared to reopen.

They’re joining close to 50 other Planet Fitness locations across North Carolina in reopening Tuesday.

The gyms are opening thanks, in part, to an exemption they’re using for those who need exercise for medical reasons.

There will be touchless check ins, social distancing with equipment and frequent cleanings, gym officials said.

CJ Bouchard oversees many Planet Fitness locations including some in the Triangle.

He says he doesn’t see this reopening as a medical loophole but rather a necessity for many and says they’re doing everything they can to ensure a safe reopening.

“Fitness needs to be open for multiple reasons and it needs to be an essential business and we truly are part of the solution. We’re not part of the problem,” said Bouchard, President of Excel Fitness Holdings/ Planet Fitness Franchise Group.

Bouchard says if there was a COVID-19 outbreak at any of the gyms they would follow CDC guidelines but says due to their extensive reopening plan he is hopeful that will not be the case.

“Every state but North Carolina is reopen so we’ve been doing really well. We’ve been at this since May we know what we’re doing and we’re setting the standard in the industry for that,” said Bouchard.

He also hopes any announcements Gov. Roy Cooper makes later this week will include some good news for gyms.

“It’s about building communities through fitness and creating opportunities for people,” said Bouchard.

The Strickland Planet Fitness opens Tuesday from 7 a.m. to 10 p.m.

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