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The Daily Planet's Opinion: Time to open N.C. gyms
Tuesday, 02 June 2020 12:24

The time has come to allow the restricted reopening of gyms and other indoor exercise facilities throughout North Carolina.

Gyms and other indoor exercise facilities (such as yoga studios, dance studios and rock-climbing facilities) were expected to open in Phase Two of North Carolina’s reopening plan, based on Gov. Roy Cooper’s original — though not definite — announcement on April 23. Unfortunately, that did not happen.

In addition to gyms, Cooper’s May 8 executive order also excludes museums and amusement parks, bars and nightclubs from opening. Cooper said those types of places cannot open because of a greater risk for the spread of COVID-19.

By May 15, a fast-growing Facebook group with more than 5,000 members posted that it had retained an attorney to force Cooper to allow the immediate reopenings of gyms and other indoor exercise facilities.

Dr. Mandy Cohen, secretary of the N.C. Department of Health and Human Services, explained May 7 why gyms should not open now. Gyms have two risk factors, Cohen said at a news conference. In gyms, she said, people are breathing more heavily and intensely. That can increase the risk of spreading COVID-19 because it is spread through airborne droplets.

To the contrary, we agree with the gym-owners’ stance that adequate precautions can be taken to limit the dangers, including requiring everyone to wear masks — and that this is yet another case where the cure is worse than the problem.



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