January 20, 2021

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health & fitness

Governor Inslee updates requirements for fitness services

Gov. Jay Inslee has updated requirements for fitness services in response to the coronavirus pandemic....

Gov. Jay Inslee has updated requirements for fitness services in response to the coronavirus pandemic.

The updates take effect Monday, Aug. 10, and are for counties in phases 2 and 3 of the state’s Safe Start reopening plan. (Only five counties are still in Phase 1: Benton, Franklin, Chelan, Douglas and Yakima.)

Everyone is required to wear a mask at indoor facilities, except during “strenuous exercise,” the governor’s office said in a document about the guidance. Immediately before and after that exercise masks still will be required.

Except for some team sports, the distance required for indoor exercise will be 300 square feet per person. Facilities need to post signs that show how many people are allowed in each room at a time, given the restrictions.

They also need a sign at the entrance telling visitors they can’t go in if they have been diagnosed with COVID-19 and have not recovered or are in the 10-day isolation period, if they’ve had symptoms in the past 24 hours, or if they’ve had contact with someone in the past 14 days who might have the virus.

Some areas will be closed, such as showers, hot tubs, saunas, and squash and racquetball courts. There are also various cleaning, hand-washing and ventilation requirements.

“For large facilities, occupancy is limited to 25 percent of the facility’s occupancy limit, as determined by the fire code,” the guidance said.

Whenever possible, “outdoor locations for fitness training and team sports are preferred to indoor locations,” the document said.

The updates do not apply to pools, which have their own guidance. Organized team sports, professional sports, and outdoor group fitness classes also have separate guidance to follow.

The document said the requirements cover staffed indoor fitness studios, independent sports and fitness training, group fitness, gyms, and multi-use indoor fitness facilities providing private instruction and access to personal fitness training and/or specialized equipment, including but not limited to weight and resistance training, cardio exercise equipment, martial arts, yoga, gymnastics, rock climbing, and similar personal training, group training, or independent fitness services.

Requirements also cover staffed standalone indoor sports facilities, or indoor sports facilities that are part of a multi-use indoor fitness facility, including volleyball courts, squash and racquetball courts, tennis courts, ice rinks, and other similar indoor facilities that provide private instruction for personal fitness and sports training.

Alexis Krell covers local, state and federal court cases that affect Pierce County. She started covering courts in 2016. Before that she wrote about crime and breaking news for almost four years as The News Tribune’s night reporter.

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