Honorable Governor Jay Inslee
PO Box 4002
Olympia, WA 98504-0002
Secretary John Wiesman, DrPH, MPH
PO Box 47890
Olympia, WA 98504-7890
Dear Governor Inslee and Dr. Wiesman,
The WA State Sports Alliance was saddened and disappointed by Sunday’s decision to order the closure of indoor gyms and the cessation of indoor sports activities. The minimum, month-long closure will have a negative impact on our mental, emotional and physical health of Washingtonians. This will also lead to the permanent closure of many fitness and sports facilities and a loss of employment for many families.
We fail to understand the science and the logic to direct a shutdown of indoor physical activity when numerous studies show the multitude of benefits for exercise to have a positive impact on mental, emotional and physical health. Sports and fitness facilities have demonstrated the ability to host small groups with effective policies, protocols and countermeasures that have resulted in NO gyms or fitness facilities as a source of outbreaks according to this DOH report. (https://www.doh.wa.gov/Portals/1/Documents/1600/coronavirus/data-tables/StatewideCOVID-19OutbreakReport.pdf)
The Institute for Disease Modeling in Seattle has determined that schools, with the proper procedures and countermeasures can operate and reduce the risk of school-based transmission. (https://covid.idmod.org/data/Testing_the_waters_time_to_go_back_to_school.pdf) The new guidance exempts schools and education facilities because of these measures. Our Alliance and the facilities we utilize have already implemented many of these policies with the greatest exception being the masking for all people at all times. As we stated in our previous letter, we are willing to implement and enforce the mask policy, even during activity.
We align with the WA Fitness Alliance and agree with the information shared by them dated November 15, 2020 and their request for Immediate Reconsideration – November 15th Closure of Gyms and Fitness Facilities. (https://docs.google.com/document/d/1Wx3jF0juwVUDidgfhYfjUPcfFkIAeNLmQxqZN_f4Br8/edit?fbclid=IwAR2V4_akscP_1Rm_jhFgw-35y-NPm9CO2d77zppiBam6S2q0k7dXtqxWzSk)
We urge you to reconsider your position regarding Fitness Facilities and Gyms as well as Youth and Adult Sporting Activities. Sports and Fitness should be identified as Essential businesses as part of the recovery plan. This industry has worked diligently to have the proper procedures and protocols in place to operate safely and responsibility. We have a strong track record of being a part of the solution to a safe return play. Help us continue to serve youth and families in Washington and provide a safe place to exercise and play.
Cindy Compoc – USA Volleyball Sandy Flores Don Crowe – Arena Sports
Puget Sound Region Volleyball USA Gymnastics – WA WA Indoor Sports Alliance
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Lindsay Callaghan – USA Volleyball Maria Brauner Phil Champlin
Evergreen Region Volleyball Puyallup Juniors Volleyball HUB Sports Center
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Tarn Sublett Jared Tikker Eddie White
Kraken Hockey Training Center Warehouse Athletics Facility Clark County YMCA
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Matt Santangelo April Stark Abbas Faridnia
Spokane Hoopfest Association Pacific NW Qualifier Spokane Sounders Soccer
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Mike Connors Jerry Cardenas Andy Cole
Pacific NW AAU EW Surf Soccer Club Greater Seattle Hockey League
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Bookie Gates Deb Brock
Baseball Beyond Borders Spokane Youth Sports Assoc.