New gym restrictions require face masks to be worn at all times

Watch: New gym restrictions require face masks to be worn at all times

MEMPHIS, Tenn. — Mark Akin, co-owner of Envision Fitness in Memphis, told FOX13 he’s all for the new health directive announced Friday by the Shelby County Health Department.

“I think it’s a good idea,” Akin said. “I think we all need to be wearing our masks and everybody just has to grow up and deal with it.”

The new directive requires all employees and patrons to wear face masks or coverings at all times while inside gyms.

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The only exceptions are while in the swimming pool or shower.

“We need to wear masks,” he said. “That’s what’s been recommended as what is going to help stop this sort of explosive growth rate. So yeah, I’m all for it.”

Akin told FOX13 Envision had already been taking precautions. Those entering and leaving the gym were required to wear masks.

“Obviously you have to sanitize the equipment before and after you use it,” he said. “We were requiring people to sign in for tracking. Remain obviously six-feet apart at minimum.”

While some gyms may have increased capacity, Akin said they’re still operating at the minimum capacity.

“We never left what we called Phase One,” he said. “We never left that. That was a maximum of eight people on the floor. Not counting staff. But a maximum of eight people on the floor at a time.”

Akin told FOX13 Envision waited two weeks after they were first allowed to open back up to re-open. He also said people are starting to get more comfortable inside gyms as they see the precautions being taken.

With the new directive impacting restaurants, gyms, and schools in an effort to keep COVID-19 cases down, it raises the possibility of these places having to go back to Phase One or close altogether.

Akin admitted this has been a thought.

“Yeah of course it enters your mind,” he said. “We’re just going to remain optimistic. We will cross that bridge when we get there.”

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