Don’t forget to take your face covering to the gym! That’s the message coming from Ottawa's medical officer of health this week. However, while you’ll need to be masked-up when entering the gym and using the locker room, you can ditch the face masks while exercising.
Just one day after the Ontario government confirmed Ottawa would be entering stage three of reopening this week, the City’s top doctor is explaining the dos and don’ts when it comes to working out.
As part of stage three, Ottawa's gyms will be allowed to reopen, among other things, and locals will be able to work out indoors once again.
However, as the City recently implemented a mandatory mask rule in all indoor public spaces, some people have been wondering whether they'll be able to remove their mask to exercise.
In short, the answer is yes.
“Wearing a mask indoors, certainly when you enter a gym facility so you’re providing that protection to the greeter and others as you come in,” Dr. Etches told CTV News at Six.
That said, she confirmed that Ottawans “can’t be expected to exercise wearing a mask.”
“So that can come off,” she said. “Wash your hands and proceed with the activity.”
As you’ve likely heard, Ottawa Public Health is mandating the use of masks in many indoor public spaces, effective… https://t.co/Awj21WxVW0— Ottawa Public Health (@Ottawa Public Health)1594063505.0
Dr. Etches went on to note that while things are beginning to reopen in the city, now is not the time to let our guard down.
While masks don't have to be worn while doing activities like exercising and swimming, they should be used everywhere else.
When it's not possible to use a face covering, physical distancing should be maintained.
This is a message that Dr. Paul Roumeliotis, eastern Ontario’s medical officer of health, backed up.
“The concept here is that under these circumstances where you cannot wear the mask … you should be physical distancing,” he explained on July 14.
He added that it will be the gym’s responsibility to ensure all equipment is safely spaced out.
On Monday, Premier Doug Ford announced that multiple regions in Ontario would be entering stage three of reopening, starting on Friday, July 17.
This means businesses like cinemas, dine-in restaurants, bars, gyms and more will be able to reopen.
*This article's cover image is for illustrative purposes only.