Washington, DC

“Dear PoPville,

Interesting guidance coming from the Y. This is the first I’ve heard that members would be required to wear a mask when working out. I support this but I imagine some will complain. I don’t think I would have problems wearing a mask when working out but maybe that’s a sign I don’t work out that hard?”

“Dear YMCA Member,

A CAUTIOUS OPENING

As we await guidance and permission from our Governors and Mayor along with health officials related to our reopening, we want to assure you that your Y will be ready. Our membership and community have been so supportive and appreciative of the critical mission work the Y has been doing over the last eight weeks and your support has made the difference to so many. You can click here to learn more about the YMCA’s work in the community, which will continue as we cautiously pivot towards reopening our facilities in phases.

In addition to the critical mission work the Y has been doing in the community, the Y has been focusing on researching, training and preparing for reopening. Your Y has invested in new sanitizing and cleaning systems inclusive of the latest technology that will take cleaning to a higher level; including, but not limited to, a UV-C lighting system.

Ultra violet light systems have long been used in hospitals to sterilize objects and rooms. Known as “nature’s disinfectant,” UV-C lights will be among the cleaning systems safely used during periodic closures throughout the day to support deep cleaning in addition to the enhanced cleaning throughout the day.

During the time that the Y has been closed, all pools have been drained and filled with fresh water and have had extensive pre-opening repairs done so that there will be no down time due to repairs later this summer. Tiles have been repaired in locker rooms and ceiling tiles have been replaced throughout the facility. In addition, our Y’s have been landscaped and look very welcoming. Toilets are being fitted with lids and instructions related to germ and virus control. All facilities have had filters changed and systems run for more than 48 hours to ensure constant air circulation. Thermostats in the facility have been set at the higher set point range to help minimize the spread of colds or germs.

A CLEAN HEALTHY ENVIRONMENT WITH SOCIAL DISTANCING AT THE CORE.

Countless hours have been spent analyzing travel and circulation patterns from the moment you leave your car to enter to the Y to your exiting once you have completed a workout or had a swim. Extensive directional signage has been ordered to support social distancing throughout the facility. Additional staff have been hired and placed in key positions where they can help observe and support safe distance between members using equipment and traveling through the facility.

New best practices from Y’s across the country will be implemented that support maintaining a healthy and safe environment, such as health screening prior to facility entry using touch-less thermometers, self-scanning membership check-in at the front desk, and facility layout modifications that increase space between members in the facility. All of these details will be shared in future communications prior to opening.

These practices will be strictly adhered to all times for those returning to the Y in addition to requiring staff and members to wear masks at all times.

Gym wipes and hand sanitation stations have been added throughout the facility allowing all members to wipe down their machines and sanitize their hands throughout their workouts.
All furniture and unnecessary objects have been removed from the facility to avoid touching and to discourage social gathering. And though for a short while you may miss your favorite chair with a cup of coffee, we will all be healthier for it.

Our virtual group ex classes will be continuing along with streaming online. The Y staff have identified areas outside the Y facilities that will be used as open-air studios to conduct many of your favorite group ex classes with your favorite instructors beginning with PHASE ONE.”

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