NDN YMCA gym

The gradual reopening plan for the Norfolk Family YMCA is continuing this week.

Randy Hagedorn, executive director of the YMCA, said the YMCA will begin implementation of what’s known as Phase 3 on Wednesday, July 1, which will include the return of full gym use and noon basketball.

Like many other places, the YMCA was closed at the height of the COVID-19 pandemic from March 15 to May 18. Phase 1 opening began on May 19 and Phase 2 began June 1.

Among the highlights for Phase 3:

* The new addition can be entered anytime during the day. Before it was only when the main building was closed. The new addition will now be accessible 24 hours a day/seven days a week.

* People using the new addition will need to get spray bottles and towels to clean all equipment before and after use. Afterward, staff clean the materials used by participants.

* The fieldhouse and the gyms are available for full use. People don’t have to call and reserve them to be used as families or the same household. “So four families could come and drop their kids off in the gym to play basketball, for example,” Hagedorn said.

* With the opening of the fieldhouse and gyms, noon basketball returns. However, basketballs and soccer balls must be brought by individuals. The YMCA cannot supply the balls.

* For adults, the whirlpool, steam rooms and sauna are all open. People are still asked to maintain social distance and wipe their area down before and after.

* The facility can now be at 75% capacity. Given its size with the expansion, that should be maintainable. Also, nationwide memberships and day passes are now able to be taken again.

Justin Moore, associate director, said if all goes according to plan, Phase 4 will take place in mid-July to August, depending on Gov. Ricketts’ directed health measures.

Hagedorn and Moore said the YMCA is working with the Elkhorn Logan Valley Public Health Department and the state on the phased openings. Then once the changes are ready, they are brought to the YMCA’s board of directors to keep them informed and see if they have any concerns.

Hagedorn and Moore said the YMCA will continue to stress social distancing and wiping down equipment once someone is done using it. Gradually, people are coming back and adjusting to the new rules, they said.

In other news

OMAHA — Saville Thomas, 18, was sentenced Thursday by U.S. District Judge Brian C. Buescher to 60 months imprisonment for traveling to the Omaha Nation Indian Reservation and committing an act of domestic violence.

O’NEILL — The North Central District Health Department (NCDHD) was made aware Thursday afternoon of 27 additional COVID-19 cases in the district.

WASHINGTON (AP) — The number of people seeking U.S. unemployment aid rose slightly last week to 870,000, a historically high figure that shows that the viral pandemic is still squeezing restaurants, airlines, hotels and many other businesses six months after it first erupted.