Mask Policy in response to changing state guidelines

This week both California and Nevada have announced changing mask rules. This is the guidance for each of our locations:

  • Since the CDC recommendations are not law and are the only thing governing this, we follow NV’s guidelines in NV. As of this email, the NV gym does not have a mask requirement. NO qualifications (unvaccinated/vaccinated/age/employment situation).
  • California’s mask mandate is ending next Wednesday – Masking is required for the following:
    • Unvaccinated employees and members
    • Employees who are in contact, or test positive, with COVID-19 (per OSHA guidance)
    • Youth Programs  – Children in youth programs are required to mask indoors. Coaches and adults in youth program settings are also required to mask indoors, regardless of vaccination status.

Why are you choosing not to enforce something stricter?

  • We are fortunate to have in-house legal council that fully understands our vision and day to day operations and his recommendation has been, from the beginning, to only follow what is required, no more. 
  • Here’s why I agree with this from a non-legal standpoint: Having done extensive advocacy that allowed me to talk to the people that make these policies (including the epidemiologist fully in charge of the whole CA operation, Dr Erica Pan), their response has been that they are erring on the side of extreme caution with an eye to the future. The policies in place are made considering the entire population and, if you’ll remember, they included keeping us closed and hobbled for 18 months of this  pandemic – because they couldn’t pick and choose but applied a broad brush to cover the lowest common denominator.
Please remember, Dr Pan expressly told the California Indoor Climbing Coalition that our environment was operationally safe in the pandemic. This is coming from the person who had headed up the most conservative response in the country and has earned high praise for managing it responsibly.

While some of us totally believe this and are psyched to rip off those masks, some of us have some more empathetic or personal concerns, and I’d like to address that, too. If you feel that protecting those with comorbidities, disabilities, inability to get vaccinated, etc from harm is important, please remember that you can absolutely choose to remain masked for yourself and for others and that for us, all choices are all good. Until we move toward a more equitable system, lower risk populations of all types are always going to be vulnerable: this is a condition of life in America right now. If you are not feeling right about that, I highly suggest that if you don’t already, take time to find some disabled and at risk voices and hear them outside of a pandemic scenario. There’s so much to learn and understand out there and it’s a great time to apply that empathy toward systemic change.

Having had the privilege of talking to the people making these decisions, I truly feel that history is on our side with these decisions. I’m also very sorry for all of you who will have to deal with the fallout from quick decisions with very little support or explanatory messaging from the issuing authority. This is my attempt to help with that.  

In closing, please consider your staff in the gym with your choices and actions. They bravely deal with the pandemic and people’s feelings day in and day out. Our team works hard to be an employees-first organization and it always causes us desk jockeys great pain that our gym staff have to deal with all the feelings that come with this, both their own and from others.

Be well,

Kristin Horowitz, CEO

The Pad Climbing