Fitness centers change mask-wear policy

USAG Stuttgart Public Affairs

Starting Oct. 1, patrons at U.S. Army Garrison Stuttgart gyms will no longer be required to wear masks when using equipment.

“We’ve continued to assess our measures in place and decide where we can peel back some layers,” said Command Sgt. Maj. Toese Tia, on the AFN Stuttgart morning radio show. “In the summer it was easier to exercise outside but it’s getting colder now and people have been asking for this and we think we can do it in a safe way.”

Masks will still be required when moving between equipment or stations and while transiting throughout the gym.

Tia, and Col. Jason Condrey, commander of USAG Stuttgart, spoke about the change on AFN. Condrey also shared the information Thursday on his bi-monthly live-streamed community update.

Masks will still be required when moving between equipment or stations and while transiting throughout the gym, Condrey said.

Jack Grimes (right), preps for some weight lifting at the Panzer Gym As of Oct. 1, patrons at U.S. Army Garrison Stuttgart gyms are no longer required to wear masks when using equipment. Photo by Geoffrey Morris.

Jack Grimes, a frequent Panzer Gym patron is grateful for the relaxed regulation.

“Having this option now is great because it is pretty difficult to breathe and work out at the same time,” Grimes said.

Everyone must continue to follow the rules to keep the gyms open and free of COVID-19, Tia said.

“We ask that our folks who have been using the gyms and are used to wearing masks in there, please help to police each other in a respectful way,” Tia said.

“It’s a simple thing to put your mask on when transiting, but all it takes is a few people to stretch it and say ‘It’s not that far’ or ‘it’s just right there’ and pretty soon just right there becomes six feet away.”