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Washington Gym Opens in Opposition of State Order

Brock Fritz

A gym in Washington reopened in direct opposition of Governor Jay Inslee’s “Stay Home, Stay Healthy” order.

According to KOMO News, PA Fitness in Arlington, Wash. opened Monday in spite of Inslee’s order closing down gyms and many other businesses throughout the state to prevent the spread of COVID-19.

“Our constitutional rights are being violated so badly,” PA Fitness owner Mike Jellison said, noting that he considers gyms to be an essential business and it is up to each member to decide whether or not they feel comfortable working out. “I do get that I’m defying the governor’s order, but the governor’s order is not a law.”

Jellison implemented new safety measures in the gym, including reducing the 20,000-square-foot facility’s capacity to 60 members and requiring each member to sign a waiver before working out. PA Fitness also removed half its equipment, installed a temperature screening station, created social distancing spaces and is requiring equipment to be disinfected before and after each use.

KOMO News reported that dozens of members arrived to work out Monday morning.

“It feels great to get back in the gym for my mental health and mental clarity to work out some of that stress that's been put on us over this whole COVID thing,” Adam Roehl said. “Everyone is being very good about wiping equipment down, there is less equipment in here and it's hard to even get within six foot range even if you wanted to.”

Jellison told KOMO News he’s staying open despite a Monday email from the state of Washington that informed him a report had been filed with the Coronavirus Compliance Task Force.

Fitness fans also made a statement in Florida on Monday. According to the Orlando Sentinel, protestors in Clearwater worked out in front of a Pinellas County courthouse to protest Gov. Ron DeSantis’ executive order that closed all gyms until “Phase 2” of the reopening plan. Florida moved into Phase 1 on May 4, with businesses like restaurants and retail stores reopening with restrictions.

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