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COVID-19 Update: Town of Boone Modifies Mask Ordinance for Businesses that Offer Indoor Fitness and Exercising

By Nathan Ham

The Town of Boone issued a modification to its mask ordinance on September 17 that allows for people inside local gyms, fitness centers and the recreation complex to not have to wear a mask while working out. The amendment to the town’s ordinance states that individuals do not have to wear a mask if they are maintaining 10 feet of social distance from all participants at all times or can provide proof of vaccination and maintain six feet of social distance from all other participants. 

Face coverings will still be required in areas such as lobbies, hallways and any areas where people are not actively engaged in athletic or physical activities. 

Active COVID-19 cases continue to climb in the High Country. As of Friday morning, there were 129 active cases in Watauga County with 120 people in quarantine. Ashe County reported 85 active cases with 133 people in quarantine and Alleghany County reported 75 active cases with 77 people in quarantine. 

Since the pandemic started, a total of 10,470 individuals in the three-county AppHealthCare district have tested positive for COVID-19 and 96 individuals have died from complications of the virus. 

As of September 13, there were 52 active cases among students on Appalachian State’s campus and two active cases among employees on campus. A total of 92 percent of the employees have been vaccinated while 56 percent of students have been vaccinated. Data from the university is updated weekly on Monday.