ARLINGTON, Wash. — Power Alley Fitness in Arlington opened Monday in protest of Governor Jay Inslee's “Stay Home, Stay Healthy” order.
Owner Michael Jellison spent the weekend preparing for the reopening and said he took steps to protect the health and safety of his customers.
There are temperature checks at the door for all customers, and they must sign a waiver upon entry. Jellison also spaced all work out machines 6 feet apart and installed sanitization stations in the facility. Extra employees will be on the floor wiping down the equipment.
Jellison said he is protecting his constitutional rights by opening the gym and said he is outraged by the governor’s stay-at-home order.
Eager customers lined up outside the gym as it opened its doors after months of being close.
Mike Pruitt has gone to Power Alley Fitness for years and said gyms should have been considered essential businesses this whole time.
“We need to exercise. Everyone is stressed out and closed in, and this is just awesome that they’re opening their doors so people can come in and exercise and kind of get back to some normalcy,” said Pruitt.
Jellison said stress is more deadly than the novel coronavirus, and that exercise is essential for mental health.
“Health, fitness, mental health is important. It’s essential,” said Jellison. “Regardless of what anybody says, it’s essential. The president of the United States stated that it was essential in one of his briefings, Phase 1. We were disregarded in the state, even though we have one of four states in the United States that have the ability to open.”
Under Gov. Inslee’s four-phased plan to reopen the state’s economy, gyms are considered recreational facilities along with movie theaters, libraries, and museums.
These facilities are not permitted to reopen until Phase 3 of the plan, which is still several weeks away.