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A Charlotte gym stayed open after order to close, as others moved to virtual fitness classes

Published: Mar. 20, 2020 at 9:54 AM EDT
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CHARLOTTE, N.C. (WBTV) - Gyms across the country are going virtual as the cases of coronavirus continue to climb.

“Stopping and resting and taking days off, just not working out, is not an option for us or our members,” Melissa Price of Burn Boot Camp in Charlotte says.

At her gym, dozens of members are logging on to a video group chat, to watch a handful of her employees help them stay moving at home.

“That’s just so essential to anything,” Price says. “They’re daily activities, their mental state of mind, their body.”

There are no customers working out inside her gym.

All of the gyms in Mecklenburg County are required to close their doors to customers. An order from the public health director Wednesday bans “mass gatherings” likely to bring together 50 or more people. That includes gyms.

But not every gym had shut its doors to the public by Thursday. Mountain Island Fitness in Charlotte had cars in the lot, and customers working out inside. An employee told WBTV Thursday evening, they were open to the public, a violation of the public health director’s orders.

Late Thursday evening, we received a return phone call from the gym’s owner, saying he did not know about the order to close gyms, and that he would close on Friday.

Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police say their officers are the ones enforcing these orders. They say they have had conversations with a few gyms in town, which then closed. They say that is the goal – to come out and have a conversation, and not have to take further action.

If it came to it, CMPD could issue a citation or make an arrest if a business does not comply, as violating a public health director’s order is considered a misdemeanor.

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