What the Latest CDC Announcement on Masks Means for Gyms
The recent CDC announcement on masks will have an impact on the fitness industry. What is the response?
On May 13, 2021, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), issued updated guidance stating that fully vaccinated individuals no longer need to wear a mask or physically distance in most indoor and outdoor settings.
According to the CDC, fully vaccinated people can now “resume activities without wearing masks or physically distancing, except where required by federal, state, local, tribal, or territorial laws, rules and regulations, including local business and workplace guidance.”
Blair McHaney, the CEO of MXM, shared this is a significant moment for clubs, with mask mandates being one of the most difficult aspects of the COVID-19 pandemic to navigate.
“I think this is a bellwether moment for clubs,” said McHaney. “It’s not just because people are going to feel more comfortable about doing their workouts — it’s because people are now going to be able to speak to one another, understand one another and see smiling faces. That’s a hidden gem in all of this and something that’s been missing in clubs that have followed the guidelines and had masks on.”
Alongside the CDC announcement on masks and social distancing for vaccinated individuals, McHaney stressed the importance of clubs continuing to emphasize gyms safety, especially communication regarding air quality.
“I think it’s still important to communicate your air quality so people feel even more safe with masks off,” said McHaney. “At our clubs we use AIRPHYX MERV 13 filtering, for example. Educate your members on the things you’re doing.”
McHaney predicted the next watershed moment for clubs will be when schools are fully back in session. Many schools across the U.S. are still doing virtual or hybrid learning.
“The next big moment is going to be when schools are back in session,” said McHaney. “This is when gyms will see a lot of their female members return.”