By Anna Phillips | November 23, 2020 at 9:57 PM EST – Updated November 23 at 11:51 PM
WILMINGTON, N.C. (WECT) – Up until this point, gym members have enjoyed some freedom from wearing masks while actively exercising.
Most facilities require masks to enter, exit and while moving about but people have been allowed to take their masks off while actively exercising at a station like a treadmill or while working out six feet from others.
When Governor Roy Cooper’s latest executive order takes effect at 5 p.m. on Wednesday, that will change.
Executive Order 180 specifies that face coverings must be worn both while outdoors, if you are within six feet of others, or anywhere indoors.
There are some exceptions for professional and collegiate athletes as well as “those athletes that are training for or participating in a sport that is under the oversight of a league, association, or other organizer that required teams and players to follow a protocol for reducing risk from COVID-19.”
Governor Cooper said Monday, “This is a pivotal moment in our fight against the coronavirus. Our actions now will determine the fate of many.”
At Axis Fitness in downtown Wilmington, Isaiah Schafer says they’ll enforce whatever policies come down from the state while trying to help people stay in good spirits as well as in good shape.
“We want people in here,” he said. “We want people taking care of themselves and, you know, keeping a mask on I think is going to be an important part in terms of keeping people safe, so we will do our best on our side to apply the science that we understand behind fitness to be able to keep everybody in that mask and still working out at the same time.”
Schafer says they use heart rate monitor technology to observe how heavily people are exerting themselves which they hope will be a comfort to anyone worried about working out in a mask.
Copyright 2020 WECT. All rights reserved.