After a 16-week closure the YMCA of Metro North association opened its first branch, Torigian Family YMCA in Peabody on July 7 followed by the Melrose Family YMCA on Monday, July 13th. The association developed a phased reopening plan for each of its four fitness centers and gymnastics center in advance of the Governor’s recent Phase 3 announcement which includes gyms and fitness center openings. The association developed a series of new safety and cleaning procedures including the use of face masks by staff and members, spaced strength equipment, 6-foot plexiglass shields between cardio equipment, and mandatory reservations for pool lanes and group classes.
“We are following the lead of other YMCAs across the country and opening our branches slowly and carefully,” said Kathleen Walsh, President and CEO, YMCA of Metro North “We want to take extra care to make sure the cleaning and social distancing procedures we put in place work, and our members feel safe and comfortable as they begin to return.”
Some areas of the facility will remain closed due to the recommendations of public health officials. These areas include saunas, steam rooms, and child watch services. In addition, its indoor group exercise classes will be introduced within the next week with the association continuing outdoor classes and virtual classes.
The YMCA of Metro North will open its fitness center in Lynn on Monday, July 27 followed by the opening of its Saugus branch shortly after. Each branch will operate with modified hours and staff in direct service cleaning machines and equipment frequently. The branch capacity will be reduced to 40% of its normal occupancy.
“We are ready to welcome back our members who have shown us a tremendous amount of support during this shutdown,” says Walsh. “Our staff have done an incredible job preparing our facilities and reinventing our systems. People will be coming back to a new YMCA which I think will be better than ever.”
Read about the Melrose YMCA Reopening on Patch.com.