SEATTLE — Come Tuesday morning, gyms will no longer be able to operate indoors in Washington state as part of an executive order issued by Gov. Jay Inslee Sunday in an effort to slow the spread of the coronavirus.
On Monday, gyms across the state saw members one last time under the existing coronavirus restrictions. Once again business owners say they have to figure out how to survive this next month with no income.
“It’s a bummer too because they have completely shut us down. They didn’t even give us the option to offer one-on-one private training. They’re just like ‘you’re done’ for four weeks,” said Molly Kieland, the owner of Fuelhouse gym Fremont.
Monday’s midday workout was one of the last classes for Fuelhouse before the month-long shutdown.
“I’m a little bummed. I appreciate being able to get out and move my body. I understand the intent behind it so it is what it is,” said gym member Carly Krivanek.
Gyms like Fuelhouse are one of a long list of business ordered to shut down by Inslee in an attempt to slow the spread of coronavirus. The shutdown comes as the state topped 2,000 cases a day over the weekend.
“We’ve been open 148 days. Not one case in our membership. We have nailed the protocol around health and safety for our humans. It really sucks,” Kieland said.
Indoor operations will be prohibited for a month and outdoor operations can continue, but the pounding rain is a reminder that winter is coming. The Washington State Fitness Association issued a letter to the Governor's office warning that his executive order “will lead to the “closure of many small businesses across the state.
Inslee called for patience during a Sunday press conference.
"Our goal is to keep the most people alive as possible until the vaccine and other therapeutic measures arrive, and that's a task I believe Washington is up to,” said Inslee.
The governor promises a light at the end of the tunnel, but first, gyms will have to go dark.
“We haven’t had any relief. We had to pay full rent. Our expenses went up because of the PPP that we must pay for just the extra protocol. We’ve had no relief,” Kieland said.