The Wyandotte County Health Department says it may be uncomfortable, but residents heading to a gym in the county will be required to wear a mask, effective on Wednesday, July 15. Another change going into affect at the same time will require children over age five in a childcare setting to wear a mask.
The new Local Health Order applies as follows
- Athletes who are engaged in indoor activities and those exercising indoors are hereby required to wear masks or face coverings. This includes both team sports activities and in gym/weightlifting settings.
- Solitary outdoor exercise remains exempt from the face covering requirement.
- All children over 5 years of age and all staff in daycare/childcare/educational settings are required to wear masks or face coverings at all times unless actively eating, drinking, or sleeping.
Medical exemptions from LHO 7/6/20 remain in effect.
“We’ve gotten many questions about the mask order, especially as it relates to exercise and sports. Socially distanced outdoor exercise is relatively safe, but we are really concerned about the potential for spread of the virus that causes COVID-19 with indoor exercise, whether it is people working out at a gym or participating in team sports,” said Dr. Erin Corriveau, Deputy Medical Officer with the Unified Government Public Health Department (UGPHD).
“Wearing a mask while exercising indoors may be a bit uncomfortable, and it takes some getting used to, but there’s no scientific evidence to indicate that it is harmful to wear a mask during exercise.”
“Another concern was about childcare settings. We feel it is incredibly important for face coverings to be worn in these settings for the protection of the children, staff, and their families,” said Dr. Allen Greiner, Chief Medical Officer with the UGPHD. “We realize this is an adjustment for families and childcare providers, but it’s the best way to minimize the risk of the coronavirus spreading in settings like this.”
Masks are required locally for children over age five, but the CDC actually recommends masks for anyone age two or older. Children under age two should never wear masks as it is a safety hazard at that age.
These new amendments follow an LHO Order that was issued on July 6 adopting Governor Kelly’s Executive Order 20-52 requiring masks for the state, with one amendment for Wyandotte County. This previous amendment remains in effect:
- The term “Public Space” includes public and private offices where more than one individual is congregating, workspaces where more than one individual is present, and any area of the office complex where more than one individual is present, such as a kitchen or break room.
Certain exceptions to the mask requirement for health, safety, and accessibility remain in effect, such as:
- People age five years or under – children age two years and under in particular should not wear a face covering because of the risk of suffocation People with a medical condition, mental health condition, or disability that prevents wearing a face covering
- People who are deaf or hard of hearing, or communicating with a person who is deaf or hard of hearing, where the ability to see the mouth is essential for communication See the full Governor’s Executive Order 20-52 for more information on exceptions:
https://governor.kansas.gov/executive-order-no-20-52/ For more information on COVID-19 in Wyandotte County, go to wycokck.org/COVID-19 or call 3-1-1.