What's the risk of going to the gym unmasked?

Gym COVID-19 pandemic
Posted at 2:43 PM, May 20, 2021

We know more about the COVID-19 vaccines and the CDC has relaxed their masking guidelines in certain situations. So you might be wondering about the risks of getting sick with COVID-19 in different situations. 

We asked the experts: What’s the risk of getting COVID-19 from working out at a gym?

Their take: The risk of contracting COVID-19 is low risk, if you’re fully vaccinated.

"If you're unvaccinated and you're around other unmasked people that are potentially not vaccinated, the risk would be much higher because you could have (a) risk of exposure to somebody that could transmit COVID-19," Katie Cary, assistant vice president of infection prevention for HCA Continental Division, told Newsy. 

"So unmasked and vaccinated, the risks are going to be far lower of a severe or even mild COVID-19 illness across the board. If you are unvaccinated and there are other unmasked unvaccinated people at the gym, you're going to be a little bit higher risk of transmitting or catching a Covid 19 infection if somebody else is unmasked and carrying COVID-19 at that time," Dr. Joesph Khabbaza, a pulmonary critical care specialist at Cleveland Clinic, said. 

"One of the risks really comes down to who else is in your life or in your household that may be at risk if you get COVID-19. And this is particularly something to consider when you are at a place like a gym where you may have a large number of people now coming in unmasked. And we know that as you breathe heavier, you dispel more droplets and potentially virus into the air. And the amount of virus in the air will really depend on how good the ventilation is and how many people are there at a given time," Dr. Kelly Cawcutt, associate medical director of infection control and epidemiology at Nebraska Medical Center, said.

This story originally reported by Lindsey Theis on