Dear Y Members | YMCA DC

Dear Y Members

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:

  1. That the Y move cautiously and slowly.
  2. That the Y assure social distancing and good hygiene are at the core of our service delivery.
  3. That the Y continues the responsive and service-oriented work in our communities.
  4. That the Y in consideration of travel paths and circulation be well thought out and special consideration be given to seniors and those with underlying health conditions.
  5. That the Y ensures cleanliness be performed at the highest level with recommended products technology and protocols be consistently followed as recommended by the CDC.

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 protected]. 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 [email protected] 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

Dear Member,

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 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.

SURVEY
As our staff FINALIZE DETAILS and await direction on our PHASE 1 opening from Government Officials and the CDC, WE WOULD LIKE TO HEAR FROM YOU, OUR MEMBERS. Please take a moment to click here and fill out a survey, which will allow us to finalize decisions on space and program offerings as we enter into the phases of our operation. Though we do not have a definitive date on the opening of our facilities, we anticipate and are preparing for later this month or early June based on required recommendations. Though we may look differently and operate slightly differently and at a cautious pace, your Y wants to assure you that the Y is committed to providing a safe and clean environment and look forward to serving you in the near future. WELCOME BACK!
Dear Y Member,
Since your Y branch closed 38 days ago, the YMCA of Metropolitan Washington staff have continued to fulfill our mission by serving those in need across our communities with critical services.
Critical Services
  • Served the most vulnerable throughout the DMV with food insecurities by providing 22,327 pounds of food.
  • Hosted oversubscribed blood drives that have contributed 81 pints of blood to potentially save the lives of 243 individuals.
  • Provided 919 virtual mental health counseling sessions for those that need our social service connections and expertise.
  • Led 63 live group exercise classes; helping an average of 289 members in each class to remain connected and to maintain their wellness goals.
  • Opened four Emergency Child Care Centers in Maryland and the District of Columbia. Plans are underway to open up additional sites in Virginia.
  • Conducted hundreds of well-being check-in calls to our seniors who may be home alone (and have welcomed a friendly call from their Y staff).
  • Answered phone calls from members, and placed hundreds of outbound calls to members each day, to answer questions and & reassure all that we are here.
To support the Y’s capacity to deliver critical services to the community in this phase while we are closed, and pivot towards the next phase where the branches reopen (featuring adapted, modified, and redesigned programs and services); the Y has undertaken several steps:
  • to reduce expenses, the Y furloughed 85% of staff to essential levels only that support all the work outlined in this letter.
  • to support and care for staff, the Y kept all staff on payroll longer than most like service providers and provided health insurance benefits through the month of April. The Y started an ACTS of Kindness/COVID-19 Fund for staff in need and we are thankful that many of you have given in support.
  • to raise funds, the Y continued to fundraise; applied and received grants to help offset the financially devastating impact of COVID-19 on operations.
  • to continue to operate as a nonprofit charity, as shared with all members via email and on the website in March (www.ymcadc.org/staywithus), membership payments have been recognized as tax deductible donations to support the YMCA’s work while the YMCA facilities are closed.
  • to raise awareness, the Y generated over $200K in earned media to support improved communication across broadcast, print and digital platforms.
Cautious Reopening
The YMCA is preparing for the multiple versions of tomorrow that will be encountered over the weeks and months ahead. Though we are anxious to reopen your Y, we will only reopen once we know we have a safe plan and environment to offer:
  • We will be reviewing best practices related to staggering usage, facility design and layout; keeping social distancing always at the forefront.
  • We will test air conditioning and heating systems, change filters and look to adapt with new technology that is being offered related to light and humidity.
  • We will rehire (and hire more) housekeeping staff to keep facilities sanitized.
  • We will make required modifications to our front desks, showers and toilet areas. During the closure, the Y has performed much-needed and required maintenance on pools, locker rooms and facilities.
  • We will have Y staff wear masks and gloves, where appropriate.
  • We are reviewing all YMCA programs and services, so that in the first phase of reopening, social distancing and safety are supported as the primary guiding principles. Programs will be reinvented and many will remain virtual.
Stay With Us
In closing, the beloved YMCA program and services have been suspended since March 16th. The result has been a gap of millions of dollars of much needed funds to the Y, making it very challenging to reopen in the manner that will be required to reengage staff and modify systems and services. That is why at this time, now more than ever, we ask that you continue with your membership and give if you can. Please stay with us. While many members have been forced to put their memberships on hold (as they face the challenges of keeping afloat), your continued support will enable us to offer members our “soft landing program” when we reopen. This will allow our members to have access to their Y while they regain their financial footing. For details, please contact [email protected].
We look forward to seeing you again in the near future and brighter days are ahead. If you have questions, need support, would like to help, or would like to talk with us; please send an e-mail to [email protected] for assistance. Please note, we need member email addresses to communicate efficiently with members, so please send us an email so that we can communicate with you. Please stay healthy and well during this time.
Yours truly,
Your Y Staff
A Message from our President & CEO
For over 168 years, the YMCA of Metropolitan Washington has supported our community as a leader in youth development, healthy living, and social responsibility. During your time as a YMCA member, you may have accessed our full service facilities for physical activity, improved health, and time with friends; trusted our staff with your child’s care and development at Y program centers; and participated in swim instruction, tennis clinics, day camp, cooking classes, and more, at YMCA locations across the region.
As of 5 p.m. on Monday, March 16, 2020; in compliance with the requests of health and government officials, we suspended operations at YMCA wellness facilities and program centers.These closures were instituted to help prevent the further spread of COVID-19 and protect those most vulnerable in our communities.
To be direct: the YMCA is a nonprofit charity. We rely on membership dues and donations to support the majority of the work we do. Without your ongoing support as a member, the Y may cease to exist. This will leave a critical gap in services across the metropolitan region. We ask for your ongoing investment in the Y and respectfully request that you retain your membership during this difficult period. All membership payments made while the YMCA is closed will be recognized as tax-deductible charitable contributions to the YMCA. Members that continue to support the YMCA in this way will receive a letter acknowledging their contribution at year-end to be used for tax purposes.
Many of you have called us and asked how you can help to support Y staff at this time. The Y has launched an Acts of Kindness/COVID-19 Fund, which supports our ability to continue paying part-time hourly staff through your kind and generous donations. To donate, please click here
We are cleaning and refurbishing our facilities while they are closed (to help reopen them as soon as government officials permit and health organizations support that it is safe to do so); and our staff are working hard to provide emergency support to those who need us most during this unprecedented time:
  • Free meals are being provided to children at our YMCA branches and program centers. These meals are available to any child in the community, regardless of whether or not they are part of Y programs.
  • Free groceries and food donations are being collected and provided to anyone in need across each community we serve.
  • We are exploring ways to offer childcare support for essential service providers, such as community First Responders and hospital employees, so that they may continue to serve and care for the sick in our communities.
  • In partnership with the Red Cross, our staff and facilities are supporting blood drives across the Metropolitan Washington area to address the current shortage of blood supplies in our local hospitals.
  • We continue to support our Fit and Well Seniors by providing them with virtual options to stay healthy, active, and connected in their homes.
  • YMCA Youth and Family Services continue to support young adults through our Youth Intervention Services. Our dedicated teams are communicating directly with youth and their families to provide help needed.
  • We are coordinating volunteer support to help those in need in our area.
For more information, and to join our efforts, please visit: www.ymcadc.org/stayinformed. If you have questions, need support, would like to help, or would like to talk with us, email [email protected] or call your YMCA branch.
We have made a wide range of virtual services available online at www.ymcadc.org/virtualYMCA. New content will be added to this site each week, so please stay active, healthy, engaged, and connected with us online. Utilize this opportunity to remain close with your friends and staff at the Y by participating virtually to observe distant socializing.
We will continue to communicate with you regarding when we will reopen YMCA facilities. Thank you for your continued support. By working together, we will all get through this difficult time.
Stay with us,
Angie L Reese-Hawkins
President & CEO
The YMCA is providing free meals and produce at 11 locations for anyone across the DMV. All food will be distributed while supplies last, and all schedules are subject to change. Please follow our website, and our @ymcadcfood Instagram and Twitter for updates and changes.
Please email [email protected] if you need resources in a community that we are not in; we can help you find some.
Notes for Distribution week of March 23rd:
  • Produce distribution will start Monday, March 23rd at YMCA Calomiris, YMCA Anthony Bowen, YMCA Arylawn and Trinity Lutheran Church.
  • We will not distribute produce at YMCA Alexandria on Monday, March 22nd.
  • Meal distribution will begin Thursday, March 26th.
Your safety is our top priority. Here is how we will ensure that:
  • All distribution will occur outside of the branch, and meals and produce will be pre-packaged on tables. Please practice social-distancing while picking up food, one at a time, from the tables.
  • Staff will be wearing gloves, and there will be no contact; you will not have to sign any documents.
  • Meals are for children under the age of 18. The meal boxes contain three-days’ worth of breakfast and lunch. Children can only pick up two meal boxes per week. Our staff will write down the name of your child so that we can monitor this.
Dear YMCA Members,
Following the CDC recommendations for schools, workplaces and community locations; the YMCA of Metropolitan Washington will suspend operations at all YMCA facilities located in Northern Virginia and in the District of Columbia at the close of business, Monday, March 16, 2020.
At this moment, we plan to reopen all YMCA facilities as soon as it is permitted by the government officials and upheld by the guidance of health organizations. Updates will be provided on www.ymcadc.org/stayinformed, sent to all members via email, and posted on the YMCA branch Facebook pages.
During the time that the YMCA is closed:
  • The YMCA will continue to conduct deep cleaning of each facility (including all branches, program centers, offsite locations and school buses). Disinfectant fogging will take place (as it already has) and will continue after we reopen to keep all YMCA spaces healthy and safe.
  • Staff and members are encouraged to follow all travel recommendations and restrictions issued by health organizations & government officials. Please consider self-quarantining during this time (eliminating non-essential trips from home) and teleworking to reduce your risk of exposure to COVID-19.
  • Virtual group exercise classes are available to members right now:
  • Y360: enjoy a variety of YMCA group exercise classes (Yoga, Active Older Adults, Barre, Boot Camp and more!) on Youtube (click here).
  • Les Mills: participate in your favorite Les Mills classes (including High Intensity Interval Training, Mindfulness, Born to Move (for families with children) and more) by clicking this link. You do not need to click on the “subscribe” button. Use the drop down button “Click Here For More” to see all of the group exercise class formats available
  • Virtual personal wellness training sessions will soon be available to members of all ages and experience levels. Visit www.ymcadc.org/stayinformed for the schedule of wellness sessions to continue to stay healthy & strong.
  • Educational seminars will soon be available to all members on topics such as nutrition; healthy cooking; healthy eating; wellness at home; and, seminars will be available to support the mental well-being of individuals and families. Visit www.ymcadc.org/stayinformed for more information in the days ahead.
  • Virtual programs for youth will soon be are available to all members through www.ymcadc.org/stayinformed. Our staff will lead interactive educational experience such as “Story Time” and healthy games and activities.
  • Information for volunteer support for members in need and food distribution points will soon be available at www.ymcadc.org/stayinformed.
If you have questions or for assistance, please reply to this email or call 202-232-6700.
Yours in good health,
Your YMCA Staff
Dear YMCA members,
A key to maintaining a healthy community is for everyone to take good care of their health and to do the same for everyone in their care (children, parents, grandparents, friends, neighbors, co-workers and more). In summary, we are all counting on each other. At the Y, you play a pivotal role in support of our efforts to keep YMCA members, staff, and facilities healthy and safe.
AT THE Y, WE HELP PREVENT THE SPREAD OF GERMS BY:
  • Scheduling frequent cleaning of “high-touch” areas throughout the facility, such as door handles, fitness equipment, lockers, tables/countertops, phones and more.
  • Scheduling disinfectant fogging after branch hours of operation (using a safe and effective alcohol-based fogging application) to enhance our normal cleaning schedules.
  • Providing hand sanitizer and disinfectant wipes to members and staff throughout each YMCA facility.
  • For the safety of members and staff that are cleaning, requiring protective rubber gloves to be worn while cleaning and encouraging immediate hand washing.
  • Encouraging frequent hand cleaning and hand sanitization by all members and staff in each YMCA facility.
  • Educating staff and members with facts about the flu and other viruses. The YMCA encourages any staff or members (including their children) that are experiencing any of the symptoms affiliated with the flu or coronavirus to stay home and immediately see their doctor (or go to urgent care / hospital).
  • Publishing a weekly list of frequently asked questions by our members relying on resources such as the CDC, the Health Department and the WHO.
  • In addition to our regular and enhanced cleaning schedules, the Y will be contracting with professional cleaning companies to clean and disinfect locker rooms, wellness center, children’s areas, and high-touch areas after branch hours of operation.
WHAT YOU CAN DO:
  • Avoid close contact with people who are sick. When you are sick, keep your distance from others to protect them from getting sick too.
  • Cover your mouth and nose with a tissue when coughing or sneezing (if tissues are not available, cough or sneeze into your elbow). It may prevent those around you from getting sick.
  • Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds, especially after going to the bathroom; before eating; and after blowing your nose, coughing, or sneezing. If soap and water are not readily available, use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer with at least 60% alcohol. Always wash hands with soap and water if your hands are visibly dirty.
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose or mouth. Germs are often spread when a person touches something that is contaminated with germs and then touches his or her eyes, nose, or mouth.
  • Practice good health habits. Get plenty of sleep, be physically active, manage your stress, drink plenty of fluids, and eat nutritious food.
  • In your home and at work, frequently clean door handles and high-touch areas (while wearing protective rubber gloves) with disinfecting wipes. Also, remember to frequently clean all portable electronic devices.
  • When you are at the Y, use a disinfectant wipe to clean equipment before and after each use.
  • When you are sick, stay home. You will help prevent others from catching your illness.
  • Stay informed through trusted sources, such as the WHO and CDC.
As more information becomes available, please visit this link for updated information about what the Y is doing, and what you can do, to prevent the spread of viruses like the flu and coronavirus.  To all YMCA members that have traveled internationally this year, or have plans to travel internationally later this year, please visit this link for the latest on travel restrictions and requirements.
If you have any questions, please reply to this email for assistance. We appreciate your attention and support.
Yours in health,
Your YMCA Staff

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YMCA Facility Percentage to Capacity as of 3pm: YMCA Alexandria - 22% • YMCA Arlington - 19% • YMCA Fairfax County Reston - 17% • YMCA Bethesda Chevy-Chase - 16% • YMCA Silver Spring - 10% • YMCA Anthony Bowen - 27%