Washington state governor Jay Inslee announced Friday new guidance pertaining to fitness facilities under the Safe Start Washington phased reopening plan.
According to a release from the governor’s office, the move allows for fitness facilities in counties under the plan’s Modified Phase 1 guidelines may move into Phase 2. Specifically, this allows for fitness facilities including gyms, yoga studios and indoor sports facilities to open for personal fitness and training, group fitness classes, and practice for certain low- and medium-contact sports. The guidelines, however, still limit occupancy to ensure physical distancing, and require masks to be worn by building occupants.
"As the seasons change and outdoor options for fitness and training becomes less accessible, it is important for Washingtonians across our state to have access to facilities where they can safely exercise indoors," Inslee said in the release. “I want to thank the many facilities around the state, and the fitness instructors that have been operating and teaching safely under this guidance.”
Blair McHaney, chairman and president of the Washington Fitness Alliance, lauded the move, especially as wildfires impact the ability for residents to exercise outdoors.
"The Washington Fitness Alliance is very grateful for the engagement from the governor's policy advisors and their willingness to include us in the process. Their effort to gain an understanding of health and fitness operations has enabled changes to guidance that allows members to safely workout indoors in controlled environments," McHaney said. "With the poor air quality from the forest fires and the changing weather, fitness centers become a critical resource for maintaining health."