AUSTIN, Texas - From swimming laps to lifting weights, the YMCA is joining other Texas organizations and businesses in reopening.
“It’s obvious that the equipment is clean, they have signs to clean it after I used it, I’m very pleased,” said Carol Stephens.
At the northwest Austin location, many people like Stephens were eager to get out of the house and get healthy. “A little bit out of breath, haven’t done it for a while but good,” said Stephens on being back.
Before even walking inside the YMCA, patrons will notice there are some immediate changes, one being a lot of stickers on the ground about six feet apart in order to promote social distancing. Visitors are also going to a mask and for those who don't have one, one will be provided for them. Also, before entering, every visitor will have to have their temperature taken to check for a fever.
Not everything is back at the YMCA though, as pickup basketball, many classes, and the outdoor pool are still closed for now.
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Executive director Steve Peterson said “we wanted to make sure our staff were ok, the building was cleaned and ready to go," when asked why they waited until now to open instead of last month along with other similar facilities
Joining them in reopening this week is the Fairmont Austin and Voodoo Donuts in downtown as well as some city buildings like the Austin Parks and Recreation Department.
Peterson said the closure on their business hasn’t been easy and worry if there may be another one in the future. “We were very fortunate that we weathered it. Anytime you’re closed you’re not making any money to pay the bills that’s a tough time for anybody so once again we are being smart on how we are doing things,” said Peterson.
While Peterson worries about any potential increase in COVID-19 cases across the state, he said the best thing he can do is help keep their patrons and employees safe.
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