Gyms excluded from Mankato’s mask ordinance; doesn’t stop some from making their own protocol

With the ordinance excluding gyms, the Mankato Family YMCA has enacted its own policy regarding face masks.
Updated: Jul. 7, 2020 at 7:21 PM CDT
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MANKATO, Minn. (KEYC) —The Mankato City Council passed an ordinance Monday that requires anyone who is 13 years old or older to wear a face covering at all times while in indoor public spaces within the city.

Companies all over town have been adapting to this new normal, coming up with rules and ramping up cleaning efforts to assure patrons their business is a sanitary place to visit.

With the ordinance excluding gyms, the Mankato Family YMCA has enacted its own policy regarding face masks.

”They wear a mask when they come in, they walk to where they are going to work out and then they can take the mask off,” explained Mankato Family YMCA Executive Director John Kind. “When they are done working out, they put it back on and wear it heading outside the building.”

After weeks of talks and debating, the Mankato City Council passed the ordinance requiring masks while in indoor public spaces, which becomes effective Friday.

Upon entrance to the ‘Y', visitors will notice the front desk looks almost like a hospital. When going through, visitors will have their temperature taken and must wash their hands.

The organization has shown adaptability, something many businesses have learned throughout the COVID-19 pandemic.

”We do have summer camp this summer. Instead of putting 150 kids together in a room, we have no more than nine kids in a pod with a counselor and those nine kids stay together all the time, so if there is a problem, we can do our tracing really easily. They stay with the same counselor all the time and we are really using our whole building that normally we would use for other things to support the day camp,” Kind added.

When it comes to the citywide ordinance that was passed Monday, Kind praised the city council for its own version of adaptability.

”The city council did a great job of changing the ordinance from its original proposal to what it became,” stated Kind. “The change to allow gyms to have people work out and remove their mask while working out was a good change. That would’ve been death to the gyms if we told people they had to wear one [a face mask or covering] while working out.”

LISTEN to Monday's full Mankato City Council meeting regarding the mask ordinance by clicking on the video player below

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