LAS VEGAS (FOX5) -- The Nevada Department of Health and Human Services announced a record number of COVID-19 hospitalizations on Tuesday.
This -- on the first day of Governor Steve Sisolak's new "statewide pause."
The pause has made masks a requirement for all Nevadans, while they are both indoors and out. The rule also applies to people exercising in gyms. Now, gyms across the Las Vegas valley are adjusting to new restrictions.
Camp Rhino Gyms is one of several Nevada fitness facilities now shifting their policies to make sure their patrons are wearing masks while working out.
"When we all watched the governor's address, and he said, 'Alright guys, you just have to wear masks for the next three weeks,' we were like, 'Yes! We aren't shut down!' And hey, you know what, we're a gym, we're all about physical and mental toughness. So I say, let's just all work on our mental toughness, wear some masks," said Julie Johnston, owner of Camp Rhino Gyms.
Johnston said they have had no known coronavirus cases at any of their locations. And while her positive outlook is definitely inspiring, doctors urge caution with wearing masks while using the treadmill or stairclimber, for example.
"If you're doing some of more high-intensity activities such as cardio, it's very difficult to wear a mask because you literally cannot breathe. You're breathing at a faster rate than usual as it is anyways, and you have a device in front of your face that is impeding the flow of air," said Dr. Constantine George, M.D., Chief Medical Officer of Epitome Medical.
Dr. George says decreased oxygen could make a person dizzy or lightheaded -- or worse, those with heart disease, for example, could be at increased risk for a heart attack.
"What we're telling clients: instead of going into a gym to exercise, you're better off going outdoors doing cardio in the outdoor environment, where you can more easily socially distance, you can do it without your mask on, but you're not exposing others, to that indoor environment," said Dr. George.
Sisolak's mask requirement is in effect for three weeks, but Dr. George said that doesn't mean you should stop getting your exercise in.
"As a physician, I would never recommend that patients don't exercise, [or] just put it on hold for a month. That doesn't bode well for blood pressure, for weight, for heart disease, for glucose, all of the above. And so, talk to your physician in regards to how do you still get the exercise you need in a more appropriate environment," said Dr. George.
Iff you plan to hike a popular outdoor trail, make sure to wear your mask (and while masked, limit your cardio intensity) while in the vicinity of others.
Meanwhile, Johnston has an alternative solution.
"One of the biggest ways that we're handling this pandemic is by saying, 'Hey, if you cant come in, if you feel like uncomfortable coming to the gyms or maybe you lost your job and you can't afford coming to the gyms, we came up with our Rhino 1-1 program," said Johnston. "It's just an online program. The first week is free -- anyone can try it -- it's just $9 a week after that."
You can learn more at https://www.rhinojulie.com.
"That makes me feel good that we can still stay together as a community," said Johnston.
Under the governor's latest orders, gyms are also required to go down to 25 percent capacity for the next few weeks.