By Ivy Lewis, Guest Writer
Xavier University’s Health United Building (HUB) recently announced that students will not be required to wear a mask while exercising in the Recreation Center. This comes as a response to evolving guidelines from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) on masking indoors.
The decision was guided by the COVID-19 Task Force and went into effect last Friday. The task force encourages students to visit the HUB during non-peak hours, remain socially distanced when using the facilities and continue to wear a mask if they are not vaccinated.
Due to the high risk of transmission posed by the COVID-19 Delta variant, students and faculty will still be required to wear masks in all on-campus classrooms, lab spaces and offices.
Student employees at the HUB were somewhat conflicted but agreed that vaccinated people deserve to choose whether they wear a mask.
“Personally, as an employee, I can see both sides to the argument. At this point a lot of people are vaccinated, so I think they should have the choice whether or not they want to wear a mask,” student worker Valerie Workman said.
“But, of course, no one has to disclose their vaccination status (at the HUB), so it’s really up to them whether they choose to wear a mask or not,” Workman commented. “They know the risks at this point of not wearing a mask.”
“All workers at the HUB are required to wear a mask during their shift. That includes anyone who works at the front desk, all the administration, group fitness instructors (and) personal trainers,” Workman added.
Group fitness classes will limit the number of students per class, depending on the class’s location. Currently, the Persist Studio will allow up to 20 students per class, the Transform Studio will allow 36 and the Balance Studio will allow 43.
Interested students are encouraged to pre-register for group fitness classes through EngageXU to ensure they have a spot. Pre-registration will be available 48 hours before each class, and walk-ins will be accepted only when the pre-registration spots have not been filled. Students participating in group fitness classes should continue to use caution and follow public health guidelines to maintain the safety and wellness of themselves and others.
Despite the change from mandatory to optional masking at the HUB, students are strongly encouraged to follow COVID-19 guidelines when working out. Proper protocol when exercising includes maintaining six feet of distance from others, sanitizing equipment following use and wearing a mask if not vaccinated.