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Summit County mask mandate causes concern for gym owners and patrons

Posted at 9:18 PM, Jul 06, 2020
and last updated 2020-07-06 23:18:57-04

PARK CITY, Utah — Some residents of Park City are upset with the county health department’s requirement of faces masks in public, including wearing them while working out at gyms.

Now, several fitness facilities are filing an appeal with the Summit County Health Department, asking for looser restrictions.

Basin Recreation Fieldhouse manager Matt Strader says some members have been complaining of not being able to breathe while doing cardio or strenuous exercises because of the mask.

At Silver Mountain Sports and Spa, employees are hearing the same complaints.

“There’s some members that do vigorous workouts and they find it very difficult to breathe inside of a mask,” owner Stanton D. Jones said.

On June 26, the Summit County Council adopted an order mandating that people wear face masks in any indoor space where people gather, including at gyms while they are exercising. The health department says it’s all to protect people and prevent the spread of the virus.

“Some of them even pull down their mask ... to breathe in through the nose and breathe out through the mouth, and others just take it off completely during their workout,” said Jones.

However, there are some exemptions: A person doesn’t have to wear a mask if they have certain health issues.

“Some people physically can’t do it, and so they feel like they’re disobeying the law by by not doing it," Jones said. "And then there’s some members that walk up to another member not wearing a mask and telling them to put a mask on."

Because of this, Silver Mountain, along with Orange Theory Park City and three recreational centers are filing an appeal with the health department.

“Simply that it gives people the option to wear a mask while they work out or not wear a mask when they work out,” said Jones.

The businesses filing the appeal hope to hear back from the county within the coming weeks.

While Summit County fitness centers agree health guidelines need to be put in place, they say social distancing and the extensive sanitizing they’re already doing is keeping people safe enough and should allow people to choose if they want to wear a mask or not while exercising.