After governor Greg Abbott announced this week that he would lift a statewide mask mandate, some gyms in Texas are considering doing away with their policies requiring members to wear a mask.
KXAN reports that Metroflex Gym and Str8 Training in San Marcos are lifting policies requiring members to mask-up while at the gym.
Metroflex co-owner Daniel Hagerty said the gym took down signage announcing mask requirements on Wednesday.
“We’re just excited to get back to business as usual,” Hagerty told KXAN, adding that some COVID-19 precautions, such as cleaning measures, would remain in place.
Meanwhile, Str8 Training co-owner and CEO Muhammah Weusi told the TV station that his club will lift its mask requirement, but that options for those who don’t feel comfortable returning to the gym will be made available.
“We’re still keeping our virtual training,” Weusi said. “We’ve actually been able to do personal training online through Zoom, and then we have a virtual group training session that we do every day.”
Abbott’s action will still allow businesses to set their own mask-related policies, but the state will not take enforcement action with regard to those who don’t wish to wear a mask.
“There’s a lot of butting heads on each side, whether to wear a mask, whether not to wear a mask,” Weusi said.
The policy shift comes a week after a CDC report urging mask adherence at the gym. That report tracked two outbreaks — one in Chicago and one in Hawaii — linked to fitness facilities where masks weren’t required.
Related: New CDC Reports Highlight Need for Masks at Gyms
“To reduce SARS-CoV-2 transmission in fitness facilities, staff members and patrons should wear a mask, and facilities should enforce consistent and correct mask use,” reads a portion of the report summary on the CDC website.