AUSTIN, Texas - YMCA of Austin has announced it plans to reopen seven area branches on June 1 after closing its facilities on March 18 due to local and state orders surrounding the spread of COVID-19. Officials say the reopening will take place in phases.
The first phase of reopening will include the TownLake, Southwest, Northwest, Springs, Bastrop and Hays Communities YMCAs.
At the East Communities Y, the fitness center and swimming pool will be open, with the remainder of the facility housing summer camp.
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YMCA Camp Moody will be open for outdoor group exercise classes and family programs.
The North Austin Y will serve as a summer camp location through August 1 in an effort to address the critical need for child care among working families in the area.
Austin Y locations will be open to members for strength and cardio training, a limited schedule of group exercise classes and lap swimming, as well as limited hours.
Safety measures including capacity limits per state guidelines, health screenings of members, and requiring face masks be worn at check-in, social distancing markers, and new cleaning and operational protocols for staff.
In the coming weeks, the Y says it plans to expand services to include open swimming in pools, recreational sports, and youth programs. Programs serving seniors and other vulnerable populations will remain paused indefinitely. YMCA Summer Day Camp will begin June 15 at 14 locations in Travis and Hays Counties, and possibly more locations added as facilities become available.
In preparation for reopening facilities, the YMCA of Austin says it has been following guidelines from health experts and local officials to ensure all components of facilities, including fitness equipment and areas, locker rooms, child care, visitor areas, and office spaces, are cleaned and sanitized to meet the highest standards for hygiene and safety.
The Y has also modified policies and programs to facilitate safe social/physical distancing practices.
Officials say they've also taken an additional step by partnering with Austin-based safety management agency Code 4 to deep clean the Southwest Family and East Communities YMCAs which have been providing child care for essential workers during the shutdown.
YMCA of Austin President & CEO James Finck says in a news release that they're "excited to reopen" and adds, "We are so incredibly grateful to the people who have stood by us throughout these challenging times. You were here for your community when it needed it most, and we remain here for you.”
More information about these phases will be made available on the Y’s website.
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