OLYMPIA – A group of Republic state senators, including Moses Lake’s Judy Warnick, are urging Gov. Jay Inslee to ease restrictions on fitness centers and youth sports.
In a letter to the governor’s office, Warnick and 10 other state senators voiced support for the Washington Fitness Alliance (WFA), which also sent a letter to Inslee to make a case as to why its members should continue to operate.
“As the new statewide restrictions have been implemented, we have heard from citizens who operate or take part in fitness centers and youth and adult sports programs. The new restrictions on these two categories of economic and community activity pose a risk not only to thousands of small businesses across Washington state but also the health and well-being of Washingtonians,” senators wrote.
The group of state senators also noted that, according to the state Department of Health, the arts, entertainment, and recreation sector as a whole account for less than one percent of the confirmed COVID-19 cases.
“I believe we can keep our communities safe from the risks posed by COVID while encouraging healthy and active lifestyles,” Warnick said. “I think we need to be nimble and focused on what data is telling us. Closing down activities that are good for people’s physical and emotional wellbeing doesn’t align with the facts. The nature of these activities makes it more compelling that they remain operational during this time. Our businesses and communities are constantly adapting and have the best interests of their patrons at heart. They are acting to stem the spread of the virus while contributing to a healthy population.”
The state senators also voiced concern about the closure of youth and adult sports programs as a result of the state’s restrictions implemented in November.
“No doubt, we need to do what we can to stop the spread of this virus,” the senators wrote. “At the same time, we need to make sure we are not doing more harm than good to the health of our population. Fitness centers and youth and adult sports have a unique ability to limit participation, maintain distances, and follow CDC guidelines to limit the spread. We ask that you (Inslee) amend the new statewide restrictions to allow fitness centers and gyms, as well as youth and adult sports, to resume.”