WNY gyms prepare for fully vaccinated members to no longer have to wear a mask while working out


BUFFALO N.Y. (WIVB) – Gyms and fitness centers across Western New York are preparing to have fully vaccinated members work out mask free for the first time in a year.

“We’ve been through a lot of pivots and changes, and guidelines in the past year and it really is a two way street with members,” said Barre Centric owner Rachael Jarosz. “Our members have been very very good at complying with all of our standards at procedures so we’re very trusting that the same will be going forward starting tomorrow.”

Barre Centric located in Williamsville will be relying on the honor code with their members on who can work out without a mask. Jarosz says it’ll be a little adjustment but one she believes people will get used to.

“We’ve been wearing them for so long so it’s kind of second nature honestly,” she said. “We’re really fortunate that our classes are low impact. So they’re impact sculpting and toning work outs it’s really not a high heavy breathing class, but I think that’s why a lot of our members feel safe if they’re fully vaccinated taking the mask off.”

To accommodate both vaccinated and non-vaccinated members, the work out facility is still keeping members six feet apart while they work out, and capacity will be at 50 percent.

“If you do require proof of vaccination from your members that does give you the availability to add spaces because you don’t need the 6 feet of distancing anymore but for us, we already have a really good system,” she said. “We already have designated spots for members so we’re just going to keep the distance for now and give members the option to not wear the mask if they’re fully vaccinated.”

Over at Sweat716, located in downtown Buffalo, the fitness studio will create an option on its website for members to indicate if they’ve been vaccinated.

“We’ll check that documentation. We will make a note in your account so that we know you don’t have to wear your mask and if you don’t have that vaccination you’ll just continue to wear your mask in class,” said manager Anna Marwin.

The gym will continue keeping people six feet apart, clean in between each workout class and member will won’t be sharing equipment.

“I’m really excited to see people’s faces again. It’s just been so long it feels. So I’m very excited,” Marwin said.

Sarah Minkewicz is a reporter who has been part of the News 4 team since 2019. See more of her work here.

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