Nearly two weeks after taking the first steps toward a full reopen, the Norfolk Family YMCA plans to enter its second phase of a gradual reopening plan beginning Monday, June 1.
Upon discussions with the Elkhorn Logan Valley Public Health Department and the YMCA’s board of directors, phase one began on May 19, and after another meeting Wednesday, plans are in full swing to begin phase two this coming Monday.
Randy Hagedorn, executive director of the YMCA, and associate director Justin Moore detailed the rules set to be in place under phase two of reopening. Both stressed that members should continue to take appropriate social distancing measures. Some of the precautions taken under phase two will remain the same as phase one, but some of the rules set to be in place under phase two will either be loosened or done away with. Some of the highlights of phase two include:
— Open to members age 15 and older. The entire facility will be allowed 50 percent capacity.
— The new facility will be open 24/7, and the original building will be open the same hours as summers past (Monday-Thursday 5 a.m. to 10 p.m., Friday 5 a.m. to 8 p.m., Saturday 7 a.m. to 6 p.m., Sunday 11 a.m. to 5 p.m.). Members are still asked to check in at the welcome center (north doors).
— Gyms 1A, 1B, 2A and 2B will be open upon appointment to families only with a one-hour time limit. No pick-up games are allowed as physical contact is discouraged. One court will be set up for volleyball at all times.
— Pools will be open to lap swimmers and aquacise classes. There will be a limit of 15 members per aquacise class and limit of two lap swimmers in one lane. Pool hours will be Monday-Friday 5 a.m. to 10 a.m., noon to 1 p.m. and 3 p.m. to 7 p.m.
— Up to 60% of the pre-pandemic exercise classes will be available with social distancing in place. Land and water fitness classes will begin June 1. Schedules are available on the YMCA’s website or Facebook page.
— Locker rooms will be accessible. Members are encouraged to wipe down lockers before and after using them and are encouraged to also bring their own shower towels, although the YMCA will still have towels available.
— Designated exercise times for those age 60 and over have been removed.
— The following areas will not be open during phase two: Adventure Zone, field house, racquetball courts, steam room, saunas and whirlpool.
Under phase one, members have not had access to the locker rooms, pools, gyms, the field house and adventure zone, along with having limited access to exercise equipment. While members still won’t have access to every facility under phase two of the YMCA’s reopening plan, they will have much more access to facilities than they have had since phase one began May 19. Hagedorn said that while the new rules will take effect Monday, they are subject to change depending on CDC guidelines.
Employees will be monitoring facilities to ensure that the YMCA doesn’t exceed 50% capacity. Hagedorn said each area of the YMCA is large enough that even before the virus outbreak, each of the facilities within the building rarely reached 50% capacity. Because of this, it is not anticipated that areas will ever exceed the 50% capacity.
Hagedorn said that during organized fitness classes, instructors will have several X’s placed on the floor for attendees to stand on to preserve proper social distancing. There also will be a 10-person limit on each of the classes offered. Hagedorn and Moore said babysitters and nannies also will be allowed to bring children in for supervision.
“These decisions involved staff and board, and we continue to stress social distancing and wiping down equipment once someone is done using it,” Hagedorn said. “We will also continue to allow employees and members to decide whether or not to wear a mask.”
Some people have opted to withdraw membership because of finances, but most members have remained through the pandemic. The loyalty of members has allowed the YMCA to continue paying staffers, something both Hagedorn and Moore appreciate greatly.
“We want to thank the members who have been coming in,” Hagedorn said. “They’ve been awesome. We have special rules that nobody complained about, and people have been cleaning equipment. They’ve been so cooperative and have done everything we’ve asked. It’s really been great seeing everyone again.”
As a way to express its gratitude to members who have remained through the pandemic, the Norfolk Family YMCA announced Wednesday that each membership unit can receive a coupon for either a free one-month YX3 training beginning July 1, or two half-hour personal/reformer training sessions. Coupons may be picked up at the welcome center beginning Monday.
The YMCA also announced that tee-ball will begin Tuesday, June 23, and run for four weeks, and the Y’s annual summer day camp will begin Monday, June 29.