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Some New Jersey gyms are allowing nonvaccinated members to workout maskless

Some gyms in New Jersey are going against Gov. Phil Murphy’s indoor mask mandate.

News 12 Staff

May 18, 2021, 9:42 PM

Updated 1,100 days ago


Some gyms in New Jersey are going against Gov. Phil Murphy’s indoor mask mandate.
The gym owners say they will allow members to go maskless, citing the recent guidance from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
News 12 New Jersey caught up with some gym members at Retro Fitness in Fairfield who were very happy to ditch their masks.
“It was like a breath of fresh air,” says Kyle Turanick. “Walking in, I had my mask ready to go. Then I saw no one had it on and I was like, ‘Thank God.'”
The CDC says that people can go without their masks if they are fully vaccinated against COVID-19. But News 12 found that some of the people inside Retro Fitness were maskless even though they did not receive any vaccine. The gym members said that no one at the gym was checking to see if they were vaccinated.
In an Instagram post, Retro Fitness told members they can work out without a mask, saying, "We encourage each state to follow the data and the science established by the CDC, which no longer requires a mask for those fully vaccinated."
This goes against Murphy’s executive order, which says that masks should still be worn indoors, especially in public places.
Retro Fitness’s post also said that members won’t be asked for proof of vaccination.
Gold’s Gym in Totowa sent a similar post, telling members that on Wednesday they can also go maskless.
Another franchise, Jersey Strong, decided to go maskless, by using the CDC guidelines as their defense, but then retracted the decision telling member, "Unfortunately, NJ is not conforming to those guidelines at this point. Therefore, we must go back to our original masking policy until we are advised otherwise by the state."
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Major retail chains like BJ’s, Costco, Starbucks and Target have lifted their mask rules in other states around the country. The locations in New Jersey say that they will lift their rules once New Jersey lifts the mandate.
But not all gyms in New Jersey are going rogue.
The owner of Ovox Gym in Morganville says, “Any business that's going with the CDC versus the mandate, they basically know they're breaking the law. It's their decision to make."
Owner Stu Rosenstein says that his members can work out inside or outside.
“Right now, our members seem very happy and comfortable, so there’s really no reason to break the law,” he says.
Planet Fitness has told members it will comply with the state order concerning masks.
News 12 has not heard whether local law enforcement statewide will enforce the executive order to keep masks on indoors.

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