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Bend gym-goers react to new mask requirement

Most don't appear to have a problem with it - but some canceled memberships

BEND, Ore. (KTVZ)—With the latest statewide mask requirement that took effect Wednesday, Central Oregon's gyms are going to look a little different.

Gov. Kate Brown's mandate requires all people in public indoor spaces to wear masks. In gyms, though, there is an important exception: Individuals don't have to wear a mask during strenuous activity, like running on a treadmill.

Israel Love, the owner of Xcel Fitness in Bend, said the new rule wasn't a surprise to him and his staff.

“(It's) something we expected, something we planned for,” Love said. “Just like we planned for when we reopened to do the sanitizing and all that kind of stuff. It's just something that we were kind of expecting.”

Speaking to two gym members, they said they had no issue with the change.

Jesse Andrews said he thinks it is a good option to allow gyms to stay open.

“As long as the gym is open, it's a good outlet for a lot of people that don't have that stress release," Andrews said. "So if wearing a mask is something we have to do, I'm perfectly comfortable with it.”

Norm Ploss, another member, said he wears his mask all the time inside the gym, whether he's doing strenuous activity or not.

“Well, I would prefer not to be wearing a mask, But guess what? We have a 'new old saying': 'Mask it or Casket,'” Ploss said. “We don't have many tools, right? Six feet, wash your hands, wear a mask. That's it, until we get a vaccine.”

Not all members agree with the rule however, as Love told us several people have canceled their membership until the virus passes.

“It started happening as soon as the governor put her order out. It started happening right away," Love said. "So when they call up, they are just like, 'This is it -- I’ll just cancel until this is all over.'”

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Jordan Williams

Jordan Williams is a multimedia journalist for NewsChannel 21. Learn more about Jordan here.


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