Northern Virginia fitness centers open for outdoor classes

As Northern Virginia enters the first phase of lifting coronavirus restrictions, fitness centers are reopening for in-person exercise.


But there is still a big difference for people who want to get out of the house and go work out: Fitness classes must be outdoors and in small groups.

“We have been closed since March 13,” said Joann Meginley, owner of Grass Roots Fitness in Vienna, Virginia. “We’re excited to get back seeing our members because we miss that community feel.”

Meginley offered online classes while she was shut down.

“What we have done going into Phase I is survey our members to find out how comfortable they are coming back to classes,” Meginley said. “We are able to offer our classes outside so that helps a lot.”

Still, Meginley said, some of her clients are not comfortable doing in-person exercise at this time.

In an effort to include everyone, Meginley will continue offering online classes as well as in-person classes.

Northern Virginia, Richmond and Accomack County joined the rest of the state Friday in starting Phase I. Those areas delayed reopening after local officials expressed concerns that their jurisdictions weren’t yet ready.

Most of Virginia began the first phase of a gradual reopening on May 15. Retail stores have reopened with limited capacity, but indoor gyms remain closed and restaurants are prohibited from offering dine-in service except for in outdoor spaces.

Virginia Gov. Ralph Northam said Thursday that current coronavirus-related trends are “encouraging,” but more data is needed before the state can start the second phase of reopening.

“We want to be very careful and deliberate as we move forward,” Northam said.

The governor has previously indicated that the second phase of reopening would allow for social gatherings of no more than 50 people. He also has said he would loosen other restrictions in Phase II, but hasn’t provided specific details.

More Coronavirus News

Looking for more information? D.C., Maryland and Virginia are each releasing more data every day. Visit their official sites here: Virginia | Maryland | D.C. 

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

Nick Iannelli

Nick Iannelli can be heard covering developing and breaking news stories on WTOP.

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