RALEIGH, N.C. -- Almost 40 Planet Fitness gyms will reopen in North Carolina on Tuesday, ahead of Gov. Cooper's order.

Cooper extended Phase 2 of coronavirus restrictions until September 11, which means gyms should still be closed. But an exception in the executive order allows gyms to open if they are serving members who have medical needs to exercise.

"For our members, many of them have health journeys of their own and have to work out for health reasons, which is why we're opening up now - to give them the opportunity to follow their medical directives to get their health back on track, because fitness is a huge part of wellness," says Jeff Helfgott the COO of the Excel Fitness franchise. 

Of all the gyms reopening, 23 are from the Excel Fitness franchise.

Helfgott said 82.5 percent of employees will be returning after being furloughed for five and a half months. The closure has meant putting a freeze on around 200,000 member accounts, which has cost the company millions.

Members will be required to wear a mask when walking around inside the facility, and can take it off while actively working out.