COVID-19 rules ease to allow some fitness studio services


OLYMPIA — Exercise clubs and other indoor fitness studios in Chelan and Douglas counties can now begin limited reopening, thanks to new COVID-19 guidance released by Gov. Jay Inslee on Friday.

Counties like Chelan and Douglas, which are in a “modified” Phase 1 under the governor’s Safe Start plan, had been barred from allowing gym services, to help prevent the spread of the coronavirus. Inslee’s new rules now allow those services to be treated as if the counties are in Phase 2.

That means gyms in the two counties can operate personal fitness and training programs, small-group fitness classes, and practices for certain low- and medium-contact sports. All indoor services are still subject to social distancing restrictions.

“After careful consideration, we’ve been able to do this to help these business and people who need exercise,” Inslee said in a Friday press conference. “… This is with a limited occupancy to ensure that we have appropriate social distancing. We’re glad to be able to make that progress.”