Home / Health and Wellness / Lee’s Summit gym owner defies Jackson County mask restrictions

Lee’s Summit gym owner defies Jackson County mask restrictions

Ryan Waters, owner of the Shredd KC gym in Lee’s Summit, doesn’t think much of the mask requirements in Jackson County. In a recent Instagram post, he said he doesn’t require masks at his location, pointing to guidelines from the CDC and other studies.

“Since after the lockdowns (which I’ve lost tens of thousands of dollars from) I’ve had over 20,000-plus visits to my gym,” the post read, “No masks and no Covid!!! Unbelievable how that works??”

gym mask

Ryan Waters, owner of Shredd KC

The Jackson County Health Department has visited his business twice “to try to shut me down, unsuccessfully, over the whole mask thing,” he said. Under Kansas City and Jackson County’s health orders, gyms are limited to 50 percent capacity and require masks at all times, as well as social distancing.

He said he is taking precautions while his gym is open. Although no signs are posted at Shredd KC saying that masks are required, Waters said most people wear them inside and take them off to work out. “Between every class, we wipe everything down with wipes,” he said. “I’m literally spending $1,000 a month on sanitary wipes to keep everything clean.”

This isn’t the first time the County has received widespread criticism for what some see as arcane rules and regulations, including church attendance.

Metro Voice relies on your generosity to publish news like this. Donate HERE.

Still, Waters received a lot of backlash for his post and tried to clarify his remarks.

“The CDC says it’s not safe to do high intensity — we do high intensity — and they said it’s not safe to do high intensity with a mask on,” Waters said. “So that’s what my whole post was about is like, I’m not making my clients wear a mask while they’re working out, because it’s not safe.”

Masks should be worn in public settings, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention website, but if performing a high-intensity activity, the CDC suggests moving outdoors where participants can keep at least six feet apart.

Recent studies out of Europe have found that masks are ineffective at stopping the spread of the coronavirus.

–Alan Goforth | Metro Voice