HAMPTON ROADS, Va. - The YMCA of South Hampton Roads began a phased approach to reopening its operations on May 18 with outdoor fitness, lap swimming and childcare services at select locations.
This phased reopening comes after a 60-day closure of normal facility operations at all 22 locations in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic.
In compliance with state reopening guidelines and through a reservation system to control capacity and safety protocols that address multiple COVID-related concerns, the Y will offer outdoor fitness classes Monday through Saturday, as well as lap swimming, and childcare for working families.
Among the new safety protocols being implemented are temperature checks, enhanced sanitizing, social distancing rules which limit all classes to nine participants, all lap lanes to single swimmer occupancy, and decreased childcare ratios.
The current and future reopening of Y locations directly aligns with state mandates and guidelines in both Virginia and North Carolina.
“The YMCA of South Hampton Roads has been very thoughtful in our phased approach to reopening, and we look forward to safely reconnecting with our powerful network of Y members who share in our excitement to continue our service delivery model aimed at strengthening the community,” said Anthony Walters, CEO, YMCA of South Hampton Roads.”
Since closing Y locations for normal operations on March 16, the Y says they have prioritized connecting with the community. Every week, the YMCA collects and distributes food for more than 2,000 families experiencing hunger or food insecurity at nine Y locations in partnership with the Foodbank of Southeastern Virginia and the Eastern Shore. The Y also hosts blood drives in partnership with the American Red Cross. As important, the Y launched emergency childcare on March 26 for essential personnel following Governor Northam’s appeal for community support in the wake of school closures.
As part of phase one, the Y says they will continue offering weekly childcare services through its newly established program, Camp Hope. Beginning May 26, Camp Hope will open at ten Y locations. Each child and staff member will be required to complete a health screening form, the Y will take temperatures at the point of entry and will not grant access to anyone showing symptoms such as fever, cough or sore throat. Activities will also be modified to accommodate social distancing requirements.
For more information on the YMCA’s Phase One Reopening Plan, visit this link.