New CDC mask recommendations and how community recreation centers are responding.
On July 27 the CDC updated its COVID-19 mask guidelines due to the rising numbers of the delta variant. One new recommendation is for fully vaccinated people to wear a mask indoors in areas of substantial or high transmission.
Other recommendations include fully vaccinated people who have a known exposure to someone with suspected or confirmed COVID-19 to be tested three to five days after exposure, and to wear a mask in public indoor settings for 14 days or until they receive a negative test result, and universal indoor masking for all teachers, staff, students and visitors to schools, regardless of vaccination status.
Because of the rising cases and new CDC recommendations, some YMCAs, JCCs and community centers are reinstating their mask mandates. According to AARP, eight states — California, Connecticut, Hawaii, Illinois, Nevada, New Mexico, New York and Washington — have indoor mask mandates in place, as do Puerto Rico and the District of Columbia. All but Hawaii, Nevada and, as of July 31, Washington, D.C., exempt people who are fully vaccinated against COVID-19, meaning they are at least two weeks past receiving their second Pfizer or Moderna shot or the single-dose Johnson & Johnson vaccine.
Below is a look at facilities who have updated their mask policies.
New Orleans JCC
The New Orleans JCC updated their mask policy on July 28. In a Twitter thread the JCC said, “In response to the recent spike in COVID-19 cases and the spread of the highly contagious Delta variant, the New Orleans JCC will temporarily require all individuals to wear masks in all indoor areas regardless of vaccination status. We based this decision on the latest data from the Louisiana Department of Health and ongoing counsel from trusted medical advisors. The JCC will continue to monitor cases and hospitalizations and adjust safety protocols accordingly. Especially at this time, we must remember the Jewish value of Tikkun Olam, which teaches us to repair the world with acts of kindness. Wearing a mask and getting a vaccine are the two greatest acts of kindness you can do right now.”
The Golden Corridor Family YMCA
On July 29, the Golden Corridor Family YMCA announced that masks are required to be worn by everyone but may be removed while working out. The news update on their website reads, “Our COVID-19 safety decisions are made based on guidance from the CDC and local health experts, and after taking into consideration the many different populations that we serve, including children and high-risk individuals, we have made the decision to reinstate our mask requirement for everyone. Masks may be removed once you are in place for your workout. As our policies continue to evolve, we will share any potential policy updates as quickly as it is safe and practical to do so. We appreciate everyone’s understanding and support to help us all stay healthy together!”
First Coast YMCA
Following guidance from the CDC and the American Academy of Pediatrics, and with the recent surge of COVID-19 cases and hospitalizations on the First Coast, the YMCA is requiring everyone ages two and older to wear a mask indoors beginning August 2.
Members, participants, guests and volunteers must wear a mask to check-in, in the lobby, when dropping off or picking up children at KidZone or other youth programs, waiting for a class to begin, in the locker rooms and any other common areas of the facility.
According to the Y’s website wearing a mask while in a group exercise class, using strength and cardio equipment, stretching and swimming is optional only if social distance is always maintained. All employees, except Rescue Ready Lifeguards, Group X instructors teaching a class or childcare staff leading outdoor activities, must always wear a mask during their shift.
Las Vegas YMCA
Effective Friday, July 30th, masks for all individuals — regardless of vaccination status — over the age of nine will be required inside YMCA of Southern Nevada facilities, except while swimming or actively engaged in an organized sport. The Y is also allowing face covering alternatives like face shields for those who cannot wear a mask due to a medical condition.
Has your facility’s mask mandate changed? Send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org to let us know.