Some Knoxville businesses bring mask requirements back as COVID-19 cases rise

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KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (WATE) — As CDC guidelines change and the city of Knoxville encourages mask wearing in most indoor settings, some businesses are taking the initiative and implementing their own COVID-19 restrictions before they’re told.

Kim Lomonaco, owner of The Glowing Body Yoga and Healing arts, says she’s bringing back the mask requirement for all clients and employees — vaccinated or not.

“The new CDC guidelines that have just been released with the concerns about the variant, have led us to believe that the most responsible decision is to ask our students and clients to wear masks again,” Lomonaco said.

Businesses where lots of close proximity to clients is involved, like hair and nail salons, massage parlors, and exercise studios, were some of the first to implement COVID-19 restrictions last year. This year, they’re the first to bring them back.

“Obviously wearing a mask impacts us and our services significantly. We’re a space where people come for movement and relaxation and for some people, that’s a real barrier for them to wear a mask during a yoga class or a massage can be uncomfortable,” Lomonaco said.

In a place where health and wellness is a top priority, Lomonaco says this seemed like the right thing to do.

“I see this measure as a way for people to continue going about their lives. For them to not be too hindered by the fact that we still have an infectious disease that’s kind of new to all of us circulating in our midst. I’m just hoping that this is a way for us to keep going about our lives and mitigate the risk of spreading something like COVID,” Lomonaco said.

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