YMCA among Sedgwick County businesses removing mask requirements

Published: Apr. 14, 2021 at 6:13 PM CDT
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WICHITA, Kan. (KWCH) - Many businesses in Sedgwick County are removing their mask requirements. Among them are popular workout spots in Wichita. You are no longer required to wear a mask in Wichita YMCAs.

The reaction from people at Wichita’s Downtown YMCA are mixed. Some said they are happy to be getting back to normal. Others said it’s too soon to start lifting precautions. With the option to continue wearing masks, some who worked out downtown Wednesday decided to do so. Others didn’t.

YMCA member Jim Petrich said dropping the restriction doesn’t actually change much.

“A lot of people didn’t wear masks when they were working out anyway,” he said. “So it was basically, you wore your mask in, you go to work out and take your mask off, and then put your mask back on. So it’s not that much different.”

YMCA member Abby Wineinger said she’s in favor of continuing the practice until more people are vaccinated.

“I hope people still wear (masks) since some people aren’t getting vaccinated,” Wineinger said. “It would be helpful if everyone still wore them, so we’ll see, I guess. I feel like people don’t want to, but hopefully they do.”

While there are mixed feelings about the change at the YMCAs in Wichita, those who spoke with Eyewitness News said other precautions are still in place that make them feel safe.

“They’re scrubbing down all the time, and you get your own little bottle to clean the equipment off. So yeah, I feel safe,” Petrich said.

YMCA member Ben Hobson also said the cleanliness has improved.

“Everyone carries around their own cleaning bottle and own towel, which I can guarantee that place is 100 times cleaner than it was before,” he said.

Wineinger said she’d prefer that people keep wearing masks as well, keeping older YMCA members in mind.

“I think it’s safer for our elderly community to keep wearing our masks, even if you are vaccinated. You should still do it for your grandparents and parents,” she said.

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