Local gym adapts to mask ordinance

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COLUMBIA - As the new mask ordinance comes into effect, local gyms are among the few exempt from the measures.

People who go to a gym do not have to wear a mask while exercising indoors and outdoors where six feet of distancing can occur according to the new ordinance.

Individuals participating in sporting activities, eating or dining in are also included in the exemptions.

Gyms around Boone County began reopening a while ago but still had restrictions on capacity.

Under the current Boone County Health Order, gyms are allowed to be open but with limited capacity. 

"We are following all local officials' guidelines and will continue to do so," Becky Zirlen, Senior Public Relations Manager for Planet Fitness said.

Orangetheory Fitness in Columbia released their guidelines Wednesday about the mask ordinance.

"Masks will be required as you enter the studio, during transitions, and as you leave the studio. Masks will NOT be required while you are working out," Orangetheory posted on their Instagram. 

One local gym implemented the same kind of measures, with added safety precautions when the pandemic began.

RHO Engine Room immediately put in plexiglass windows separating participants and maintaining the six foot requirement.

A new addition is painters tape in the middle of the gym that the trainers stand behind in order to keep the necessary distance from their clients without having to put on their masks.

"They have everything they need in their cubbies," Laura Kitzi, owner of RHO Engine Room said. "If they need to get up and leave their cubbies for any reason, that's when they put on their masks."

A change that one client says shouldn't be big deal.

"Obviously it's a divisive topic," Craig Lycke said. "For me, it's pretty easy to do and my employer requires it so it's really not that much of an impact."

One thing is common between Kitzi and Lycke, they're just happy to be back.

"For me when it comes to a choice of do we want to suffer in our homes or do we want to make a very small sacrifice so that we can enjoy things that make us happy like the gym," Lycke said.

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