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Spokane-area gyms face more restrictions under COVID-19 regulations

New regulations are being added to fitness facilities in order to combat rising Spokane coronavirus cases.

SPOKANE COUNTY, Wash. — With more than 65,000 confirmed coronavirus cases in Washington, Governor Jay Inslee's new gym regulations go into place on Monday.

These include stricter limits to how many people can be in the facility, closure of public amenities like saunas and outdoor pools, and members must wear a mask the entire time, except when doing strenuous exercise.

"It's definitely a definitely a challenge but I'm up for it," said North Park Athletic Club Owner Joel Tampien. 

He is remaining positive after dealing with economic blows from earlier gym restrictions. 

"There's definitely a financial impact because [of] operating costs to sustain a building like that," he said. "Then also dealing with team members who we've had to put on standby and then kind of slowly reintegrating them into the work process."

Along with following social distancing guidelines, the facility has developed a COVID-19 sanitization protocol. They will be cleaning major touch points every hour and are tripling their cleaning cycles. 

Credit: North Park
North Park bike closed

These procedures help members like Katie Kuca feel safe. 

"The facility is so large that I never really feel crammed," she said. "North Park has done a great job of making zones within the club itself that limit how many people can be in one space or another."

Kuca is a college student and has been going to North Park for her whole life.

Credit: Morgan Trau
Katie Kuka talks about North Park

"I was ready to get back to the gym. There's only so much you can do outside and at home for so long," she said.

Instead of the six foot rule, gym-goers must space out by 300 square feet. That equals out to about 17 feet. 

"It's definitely, you know, taxing and demanding in different ways," Tampien said. "We got to strategize a little bit differently with how we're leading our people and continue to make sure that they're in a healthy state or to be able to service our clients that much better."

North Park feels grateful to still operate now, even if their class size has gone from 40 yoga students to 10.