The GYM at Cape Carteret Aquatic & Wellness Center owner Deanna McElmon, middle, and employees Ricky Hoogendorn, left, and Mark Holbrook pose with a written notification of violation Saturday after McElmon opened her business in violation of the governor's current phase two plan in dealing with the coronavirus pandemic. (Contributed photo)

(Editor's note: This story, which initially posted at 1:10 p.m. today, was updated at 1:55 p.m. after the News-Times received further information. The above photo was later received and posted at 3:27 p.m.)

CAPE CARTERET — The decision by N.C. Gov. Cooper to keep gyms, health clubs and fitness centers closed through phase two of the statewide plan is being actively opposed.

One such challenger, The GYM at Cape Carteret Aquatic Center Owner Deanna McElmon, disregarded the order and opened her facility Friday morning at 5:30 a.m.

That afternoon at 5:30 p.m., McElmon was contacted by the (Cape Carteret) Chief of Police (Bill McKinney), who requested to meet with her Saturday at noon.

“I expect that I’ll be served, and we will remain open,” McElmon said when reaching out to the News-Times at 11:40 a.m. today, just before McKinney's arrival. “I have an attorney that will be on a call with me.”

McElmon’s expectation proved correct. In a second call to the News-Times today after the meeting with law enforcement, she said, “They came in and gave me a written notice that I was in violation. They were very polite, very professional. They did not want to do this, didn’t agree with it at all.”

When asked if the gym would remain open after the notice, McElmon replied bluntly, “We will continue to reopen.”

Further developments in the story will be posted.


(5) comments


Good for her. I hope the other gyms in this area do the same.


Good for her and her employees! Best of Luck! Other business take notice, get an attorney to represent you and do the same! There is power in numbers! I am sure her clients are happy and responsible, other wise she would advise them ot leave or escort them out. Best of Luck!

June Gooding

I’m glad to see somebody challenging the asinine decisions being made by the powers that be. If you can go to a restaurant or even a swimming pool, you definitely should be able to go to a gym or even a bar.

Ken Bradley

I hope the other athletic clubs in the county join her.


The Governor should be removed from office for abuse of power and failure to comply with his oath of office. He has severely damaged too many citizens with his. blind ambition Three fatalities does not cause a crisis The curve is flat. His 15 minutes of fame are over.

Welcome to the discussion.

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