Dear YMCA Members,CELEBRATING THE LIFE & LEGACY OF DR. MARTIN LUTHER KING, JRYou are invited to join the YMCA next week as we honor the life and legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., through The Y Cares: an initiative that uplifts, connects, celebrates and encourages those who need it. Join us in uplifting hospital and front-line health workers, who have been bravely caring for and tending to our neighbors throughout the pandemic; sending messages of hope, love, and inspiration to COVID19 patients who have been in isolation from friends, family, and loved ones; and, celebrating our teachers, who have been serving and supporting the development of children throughout the pandemic. Please visit www.ymcadc.org starting on Monday, January 18th, to participate in The Y Cares initiative.HOURS OF OPERATIONJanuary 18th through January 22ndNext week, the hours of operation in each Y have been adjusted as you can see on this link, in recognition of Inauguration day and the impact that it has on travel across the area. As many of our staff rely on the use of public transportation to support their daily commute, the Y has adjusted the hours of operation to support their safe and reliable travel. Please know that on day(s) when the YMCA is closed, the YMCA will continue to offer Group Exercise classes virtually, as available, recognizing that not all of our instructors have the ability to broadcast their classes from home. Please click on this link, and select your branch location, to see the updated schedule of classes that are available next week virtually from at your branch instructors. You can also click here, to see the full Association’s virtual schedule that is broadcast on Facebook.GETTING READY TO GET YOUR VACCINEThe CDC is clear: vaccines are one of the greatest success stories in public health. Through use of vaccines, smallpox was eradicated and the wild polio virus nearly eliminated. The number of people who experience the devastating effects of preventable infectious diseases like measles, diphtheria, and whooping cough is at an all-time low. To learn more about the multiple COVID19 vaccines that are available, please click here to visit a webpage that the YMCA has developed to connect members and staff to the information that is available through the CDC and health organizations in each jurisdiction, to prepare to get the COVID19 vaccine. #Make A Difference Today.TRAVEL PROTOCOLOut of an abundance of caution, the travel protocol that has been in effect all month continues:
- The YMCA will continue asking all members and staff who travel to states other than Maryland, Virginia, the District of Columbia, Delaware, Pennsylvania, and West Virginia to receive a negative COVID19 test result or quarantine for 10-days prior to returning to the YMCA.
- The YMCA is asking all members that have not been to the YMCA over the last 90-days to please first contact the Y and speak to their branch Executive Director to review all the protocols required within the facility that have been implemented since the pandemic started and to obtain approval for your return to the YMCA.MASK POLICY & SOCIAL DISTANCINGThe YMCA will continue to enforce 100% proper wearing of masks, including covering the nose and mouth in accordance with CDC recommendations, by everyone on YMCA property. A reminder that for your health and that of your community, this policy will be strictly enforced. Social distancing requirements will continue to be upheld.Yours In Good Health,Your YMCA Family
Dear YMCA Members,RAISING THE GUARD FOR YOUR HEALTHSince the beginning of the pandemic, the Y has maintained a laser focus on creating and maintaining a safe environment for our Y community to continue engaging in individual and collective health and wellness services, during a critical time. Since reopening, we have received positive feedback from hundreds of members on the Y’s efforts to both educate and implement safety protocols and guidelines at your Y for members and staff alike. For your information, the six Y’s across the Metropolitan Area have had 144,424 visits by members since reopening. The Y would like to share that there have been 10 reported instances of a member testing positive for COVID. This is significantly less than the local and national contraction rates, both current and projected. This is also a correlating indicator that there has been no community spread of COVID within YMCA facilities. The Y leadership would like to express our appreciation to all members and staff as we believe this is a direct reflection of your focus on, adherence to, and support of the recommended protocols and guidelines. At this time, your Y will build on our Cautious Re-Opening Approach by Raising the Guard for Your Health.THEREFORE, EFFECTIVE THURSDAY, NOVEMBER 19th:
- The YMCA, supported by local government agencies, is asking all members that travel over the holiday from Thursday, November 19th through Monday, November 30th, anywhere outside of the Washington DC Metropolitan Area, upon return, to either obtain a negative COVID test result or quarantine for two weeks prior to returning to the YMCA.
- The YMCA is requiring all members that have not been to the YMCA over the last 90-days to please first contact the Y and speak to their branch Executive Director to review all the protocols required within the facility that have been implemented since the pandemic started and to obtain approval for your return to the YMCA.
- The Y staff are being asked not to travel out of the area over the holiday and the Y will require those staff that do travel to quarantine and to receive a negative COVID test prior to reporting to the Y for work.
- As a reminder, unfortunately, no guests will be allowed to visit the Y over the holiday due to the event that we might be required to work with the Health Department on contact tracing.
- The YMCA will continue to enforce 100% proper wearing of masks, including covering the nose and mouth in accordance with CDC recommendations, by everyone on YMCA property. It’s for your health and that of your community!TO PREPARE FOR THE COLDER MONTHS:
- The YMCA will be holding an in-house training for all staff on updated and enhanced safety measures and cleaning protocols. Each branch will review policy and protocol relating to temperature checks at the building entrances; referring all members and staff to the CDC’s health screening questions; upholding social distancing requirements; continuing to enforce proper mask wearing; and reviewing enhanced facility cleaning requirements and protocols.
- In addition to the continued use of UV-C cleaning methods, the YMCA has invested in electrostatic sprayers for use when cleaning wellness equipment and high-touch areas (i.e. railings, doors, etc.), which enables the disinfecting solution to be applied more evenly, efficiently, and effectively; safely applying another level of sanitization. The YMCA will continue to clean each facility throughout the day and conduct a deep cleaning of each facility during the afternoon and overnight.
- For your convenience, in addition to the additional warm water showers and portable changing rooms we have added on the pool deck, the Y will be designating staffed coat check areas in the branch where your coats will be secured while you work out. We will not be able to accept valuables of any kind during this period (which should be either left at home or locked out of site in the trunk of your car).
- In addition to our regularly scheduled pool maintenance, the YMCA will be adding fresh water to the pool each week to continue to provide optimal water quality.
- The YMCA will continue to have the HVAC systems serviced regularly to support optimal air filtration and circulation, in addition to doors and windows being open to allow fresh air circulation when possible.
- The YMCA will continue to offer outdoor activities and online service options for member enjoyment of our wellness offerings (i.e. Group Exercise classes, Tennis, Pickleball, Personal Training, Youth Sports, etc.).
- The YMCA has adjusted the facility capacity, per local government requirements, and will continue to post utilization updates on the website throughout each day. Thus far, our classes and activities have run at levels that are below the recently revised capacity limits, and the Y will continue to operate below the local mandated levels for your health and safety.
- In December, the YMCA will expand the hours of operation while maintaining the necessary break for mid-day deep cleaning of the facility. The updated branch hours of operation will be distributed via email, social media and updates on the schedule posted at this link.
- The YMCA has modified the usage of all restroom facilities throughout each branch to limit service to one member at a time (unless in the same household).
- The YMCA is updating all facility signage that supports social distancing; member circulation patterns; wearing masks; member and staff travel; guest policies; and, general member safety.Your Y will remain vigilant to help keep members and staff safe at the YMCA. We appreciate the positive member testimonials that have been shared throughout the pandemic. Please take a few minutes to complete the survey that is available at this link so that we can continue to make improvements to our programs and services. If you have any feedback or recommendations to share, please reply to this email for assistance.A few notes on the upcoming Thanksgiving holiday hours of operation:On Thanksgiving Day (Thursday, November 26th), your YMCA branch will be open. To review the hours of operation for all branches on Thanksgiving Day, and throughout the holiday weekend, please visit this link. A reminder that before you travel to the YMCA, please check the home page of the YMCA website for updates on each YMCA branch’s operating capacity utilization that is posted on the top of the page.Holiday Happenings:
- The YMCA’s Annual Turkey Chase Charity Race will take place in a virtual format this year from November 16th through November 30th! Anyone can participate anywhere to support their home YMCA branch. Participants can run, walk, bike, or swim the race and there are a variety of race distances to choose from. For more information, please visit www.TurkeyChase.com.
- Cyber Monday offers will be available soon! This is a great opportunity to purchase a significantly discounted YMCA service (Tennis, Personal Training, Cooking Classes, and more) for you, or a friend, to enjoy. Please look forward to receiving an email announcement and check the YMCA website for details in the days ahead.Thank you for your membership. Please view the video clip attached that aired on one of the morning news stations today, demonstrating the YMCA’s community impact during the pandemic, the safety measures in place to promote members safety, and the Virtual Turkey Chase Charity Race. We are thankful for the opportunity to serve you, and everyone that calls your community their home, throughout this pandemic and beyond. On behalf of your YMCA staff, we wish you a safe and healthy holiday season.Yours in Health,YMCA of Metropolitan Washington#RAISINGTHEGUARDFORYOURHEALTH
Dear YMCA members,Thank you for your membership to the YMCA. In support of the updated reservation policy that will begin on Monday, August 17th, please find some answers to the most commonly asked questions:Question #1: Why are members being asked to make no more than three swim time reservations during a rolling seven day time period?Answer: As you are aware, the County government has mandated social distancing measures and pool capacity limitations that place a limit on the number of members that can be served each day in the pool. In the past without these limitations, the YMCA was able to serve three times as many members in aquatics. Since reopening, we have heard via email and through phone calls from numerous members that they are not able to swim at all, whereas other members are swimming seven days each week. In support of compliance, the policy is designed to support fairness in allowing all members access to the pools.Question #2: How does a rolling seven day time period work?Answer: In brief, within any seven day time period you may have no more than three reservations for swim time activities in the system. As each day passes, a new seven day time period begins.Question #3: How can I start reserving up to seven days in advance on Monday, August 17th?Answer: As you know, members currently can place reservations up to 72-hours in advance of their desired swim time activity. On Monday, August 17th, the advance reservation capability expands to 168 hours (or seven days). This means that when you log into the online reservation system on Monday, August 17th, you will have the ability to make a reservation online for swimming opportunities that are listed as available for the next seven days (168 hours). During the hours of branch operations, you can also call the Welcome Center Staff at your branch for support making a reservation, to join the wait list for a specific swim time activity, or to cancel a reservation.Question #4: How long will this new policy be in effect?Answer: As pool reservation data, wait list data, usage data and member feedback is analyzed in the weeks ahead, the Y will work to make enhancements and improvements. The Y will continue to look for ways to improve the pool experience and support fairness in allowing all members access to the pools. For example, the YMCA asked for and just recently received approval to expand swim times to 10pm each week night and 9:30pm on the weekends. As soon as YMCA staff are in place to support this expanded schedule of pool operating hours, the Y will update the reservation system to allow for this additional pool access each day. Please look for an announcement to soon be delivered on the updated and expanded pool hours. Please also look forward to receiving an email with another survey at the end of August where you can provide your feedback in support of helping the Y to make additional improvements.Question #5: If I typically swim four times each week, under this new policy of three swim time reservations in a rolling seven day period, can I still swim four times each week?Answer: Yes, it is still possible to swim four times or more each week. The policy states that members can make up to a total of three swim time reservations in a rolling seven day time period and join the wait list for an additional three swim time opportunities. If you are notified via email that your wait listed swim opportunity has become available, you can participate in that swim opportunity. As it was not a reserved swim time, it is independent from the three swim time reservations opportunities you can place each week.Question #6: How do I join the wait list and how does it work?Answer: When you look at the online reservation system and see a swim time activity that is full, you can click on it and join the wait list for that activity. Or you can call the branch and a Welcome Center staff member will assist you in joining the wait list for a desired swim time activity. In the event that a cancellation occurs, the members on the waitlist for that swim time activity will be contacted via email in the order that they have joined the wait list for that activity.Question #7: How will the new reservation policy be supported?Answer: The YMCA aquatics team will review usage and reservation data each day. Whenever a member’s use of the reservation system or wait list is not aligned with the policies, the YMCA aquatics team will contact the member to notify them that the reservations or wait list requests placed outside of the policy will be released and made available to members that have joined the wait list for the swim time activities involved.Question #8: I like using the online reservation system. Can I continue to use it?Answer: Yes! Members can use the online reservation system or call the branch to join the wait list, place a reservation or cancel a reservation.Question #9: I want to take swim instruction. Will I be able to do that?Answer: Starting after Labor Day, you may choose to use one of your three swim activity reservation times to participate in individual swim instruction. After you secure your lap swim reservation time, please email the YMCA Aquatics Director at Aleksandar.Milojkovic@ymcadc.org (YMCA Bethesda-Chevy Chase) or Jerrod.Bennett@ymcadc.org (YMCA Silver Spring) to coordinate the swim instruction in the lap swimming lane that you reserved.Question #10: Do I need to take a deep water test?Answer: You do not need to take a deep water test if you are an adult. Children age 12-years and under who will swim continuous laps must pass the deep water test and have a parent on the pool deck during their registered swim time. Children 13 to 15 years old who will swim continuous laps must pass the deep water test (their parent is not required to be on the pool deck). If you have children that need to take the deep water test, please contact the Aquatics Director via email at at Aleksandar.Milojkovic@ymcadc.org (YMCA Bethesda-Chevy Chase) or Jerrod.Bennett@ymcadc.org (YMCA Silver Spring).We hope the clarification on these questions helps and we really appreciate your support as the Y strives to serve all members. We will conduct a survey at the end of August for your feedback on this reservation system and your summer experience in general. If you have additional questions, please reply to this email.Yours In Good Health,
Cautious Reopening Phase TWO Guidelines
Recently our members filled out a survey telling us what they would like to see in the Y when we are given the green light to reopen. We thank you for filling out the survey and the Y used this feedback in designing our first phase of re-opening. We will continue to survey our members throughout this process to see how we are doing over the next coming weeks. The majority of our members asked that:
The Y is extremely excited to announce that we believe we are ready and that the PHASE 2 reopening of our Virginia Y’s will take place Monday June 15th at 7am. As per the Executive Order of Virginia we are permitted to open our facilities to run outdoor activities of groups of 50 or less while practicing social distancing at all times. In addition we will be offering indoor fitness, group exercise and lap swimming at 30% building occupancy and the required social distancing always at the forefront. In addition we will be requiring that masks be worn at all times with the only exception being when you are actually in the process of exercising.
We believe that you will be pleased with the great care that has been taken to add a variety of indoor and outdoor programs to our schedule in addition to continuing with the live streaming of classes and continuation of our virtual Y library that has been viewed by more than 50% of our membership.
Please take some time to review our updated code of conduct related to COVID-19 and the list of recommendations for coming back to the Y. This guide will help you to prepare to safely enjoy your YMCA experience during Phase 2. We will continue to update the website with additional information for PHASE 2 reopening including our What to Expect Video when coming back to your Y.
During this phase we will also be requiring reservations for several of our programs to ensure that we follow regulations and focus on preparing for our members correctly. Reservations may be made as of 72 hours in advance and up until one-hour before an activity starts. Please visit this page to see our current activity schedule and learn more about our reservation system. You can start reserving your time as of today. If you have questions, please email email@example.com. For your convenience, as of Tuesday this week a Welcome Center has been be in operation to support your phone calls, answer questions, and to help you reserve your participation in the wellness activities available during this phase. The Y will also reserve spaces in classes specifically for our members who prefer to reserve their participation over the phone. In addition there will also be a few spots for walk-in members, though we strongly recommend making a reservation before you leave home.
Our Y’s are ready, our staff is trained, new enhanced sanitation and hygiene protocols are in place and all we need is you! The Y has missed our members and we look forward to welcoming you back
Monday morning. If you would like to reactive your membership at this time please contact firstname.lastname@example.org or call your local YMCA branch as classes will only be offered to those with active memberships.
YMCA Arlington at 703-525-5420
YMCA Alexandria at 703-838-8085
YMCA Fairfax County Reston at 703-742-8800
We are excited to welcome you back this week. We have missed you!
Dear YMCA members,
This is a quick update from your Y to let you know that even though we haven’t been given the official approval needed to re-open we want to assure you that our Montgomery County Y’s are ready! The Y has been closely monitoring opening phases throughout the state of Maryland through our Y alliances, as we believe we will be given similar guidance when Montgomery County is allowed to open.
We look forward to welcoming you back—our indoor and outdoor pools have been refurbished, inspected and ready for a summer of wonderful health and enjoyment in the water. Circulation patterns and signage have been established throughout the facility to allow for social distancing. Enhanced cleaning and technology have been added to make sure high touch areas in the Y facilities are constantly cleaned throughout the day. Two hours each day have been set aside for a deeper cleaning of the facility, Wellness centers have been configured so that social distancing will always be respected including additional clearly marked sanitization stations. Sneeze guards have been added in member facing areas for additional protection and our code of conduct has been updated to reflect the requirement of masks everywhere on Y property except when you are actually in the act of exercising. For those that look forward to health and wellness activities, outdoors our tennis court will be open. Requirements related to how to enjoy tennis in this phase of reopening will be posted online. And we have added many outdoor group exercise classes and outdoor air studios so you may enjoy your classes or weight training outdoors if you chose (see website as inclement weather policy will apply.) Though we have reduced our inventory of programs and services temporarily such as group classes, child watch and shower facilities to allow for a slow re-entry and social distancing at this time, we will continue to look forward and add more programs and services as appropriate and approved.
Please take your time to review our GUIDELINES TO REOPENING that is on our website and look for a video coming next week on what to expect when you return to the Y. Thank you for your continued support and we look forward to welcoming you back to your Y
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 lighting system. Ultra violet light systems have long been used in hospitals to sterilize objects and rooms. Known as “nature’s disinfectant,” UV 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, most of 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.
And though our virtual group ex classes will be continuing virtually and streaming online, our staff have identified areas of the Y facilities that will be used as open-air studios to conduct many of your favorite group ex classes with your favorite instructors.