SPOKANE, Wash. — Nearly three weeks after Governor Jay Inslee announced the entire state of Washington was moving into Phase 2 of its reopening plan, questions remain about which activities are allowed and which are still prohibited.
KREM 2 viewer Lisa reached out to the Verify Team, writing, “I live in an apartment community with an indoor swimming pool and gym. My question is wondering if in this phase if it allows apartment complexes to open up their gyms and or pools with the 25% occupancy?”
To answer this question, we reached out the Washington State Department of Health, the Spokane Regional Health District and the Healthy Washington, Roadmap to Recovery Plan.
Can apartment pools and gyms reopen?
The guidance for gyms and fitness centers lays out long list of requirements for Phase 2, including that capacity can’t exceed 25% or 200 people maximum, whichever is less. Also, patrons must stay at least 6 feet apart.
For unstaffed indoor fitness facilities, like at apartment complexes or hotels, only one user is allowed per room, or up to four users from the same household, scheduled in advance. Face coverings are required.
Pools are also allowed to operate during Phase 2, but the list of requirements is even longer. In the section of the guidance for hotel, motel and apartment pools, it states that staff must periodically check the facility to make sure occupancy rules are being followed. If that’s not feasible, the guidelines state, “do not open the facility.”
In terms of determining occupancy, the state uses an equation. Here’s how it works: you divide the surface area of the pool by 162 to figure out how many people can be in the water at once.
Here’s the state’s example: for a pool that is 50 feet long by 25 feet wide, the water surface area is 1,250 square feet. The guidance states that you then divide 1250 by 162, which equals 7.71. The guidance states to round down to the closest whole number, meaning the max occupancy for the pool would be 7.
We can verify that the fitness centers and pools at apartment complexes, motels and hotels are allowed to open during Phase 2, but only if they follow strict guidelines.
Do you have something you’d like the KREM 2 VERIFY Team to look into? Email the VERIFY Team at firstname.lastname@example.org, text 'VERIFY' to 509-448-2000, or leave Mark Hanrahan a voicemail at 509-838-7334.