SPOKANE, Wash. — For the first time in two months, working out at a local gym feels like it could soon be a possibility.
Washington Governor Jay Inslee laid out new reopening guidelines for the state on Tuesday. The plan, called “Healthy Washington,” will allow regions of the state to reopen when they meet certain metrics around hospitalization and case data.
Some indoor athletic activities would be able to return in Phase 1 and 2 of the new plan.
The current coronavirus restrictions on indoor dining, fitness center operations and gatherings are set to expire on Jan. 11.
Training facilities were one of several businesses impacted by protocols in mid-November. They were told to immediately stop any form of indoor exercise.
“We’re hanging in there as a business and a facility,” said Jared Tikker with the Warehouse Athletic Facility. “We’re more worried about our client base and how they are doing, and how they are handling the lack of activity."
The Warehouse is a popular athletic facility off of North Hamilton Street in Spokane.
For a brief moment, the facility was operating with no problems during the pandemic. Gyms had reopened and their clients returned with different rules in place.
“We adapted to a number of things. Obviously our cleaning protocols and things like that, but we also staggered out schedules so there were buffers in between people to manage traffic flows.”
A large portion of the Warehouse is dedicated to basketball.
“I don’t see right now, from what I’m reading, a path for the higher risk sports to come back,” Tikker said.
Basketball should be able to make a return in Phase 2. However, tournaments will not be allowed. Games will be able to be played with crowds of no more than 200 people.
Governor Inslee's announcement lays out the next steps for a phased-in return.
Under the plan, there will only be two phases of reopening to start, and the state will add more as the situation improves. All counties, which are grouped into eight regions, will begin in Phase 1.
Phase 1 includes these new guidelines for gyms:
Low-risk sports can return indoors. Gymnastics, dance, and other non-contact sports.
Groups will be limited to no more than five athletes at a time.
Outdoor sports permitted.
To move on to Phase 2, the region must meet the following four targets:
- 10% decreasing trend in case rates
- 10% decrease in coronavirus hospital admission rates
- ICU occupancy that’s less than 90%
- Test positivity rate that’s less than 10%
The new Phase 2 allows indoor dining and indoor fitness centers at 25% capacity, increased wedding and funeral capacity and sports competitions with limited spectators.
Phase 2 includes these adjusted guidelines for gyms:
Low and moderate risk sports permitted
Outdoor sports allowed a maximum of 200 spectators