[Warren County, OH] — After closing its facilities on March 16 due to Governor DeWine's stay-at-home order surrounding the spread of COVID-19, Countryside YMCA will reopen its Lebanon and Landen locations with limited fitness programming for members only on May 26. Child care and summer day camp programs will open on June 1, as will the outdoor pool. Additional programs will open throughout the coming months.
"Countryside YMCA has served the Warren County community for more than 40 years, during which we have made it through many challenging times together, none perhaps as impactful for our community and our Y as this COVID crisis," said Chris Johnson, CEO, Countryside YMCA. "We are thrilled to begin reopening our fitness facilities, welcoming back our members and the community, and getting back to what we do best – helping everyone reach their full potential."
In preparation for reopening fitness facilities, Countryside YMCA has been following guidelines from health experts and local officials to ensure all components of facilities, including fitness equipment and areas, locker rooms, 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.
"When we closed our facilities in March, we did so to protect the health and well-being of all our staff, volunteers, members and participants. As we now reopen our facilities, we do so with that same commitment to keeping everyone who enters our doors safe," said Johnson.
The first programs that will reopen at the Lebanon location include:
Cardio Strength Center
Competition Pool for lap swimming only 81-83 degrees
Instructional Pool for water walking 87-88 degrees
Limited Group Fitness, including Water Fitness
The first programs the reopen at the Landen location will include:
Cardio Strength Center
Limited Group Fitness
Hours of operation at both locations will be the same. Monday through Friday, 5:00pm until 7:00pm; Saturday 7:00am until 5:00pm; and Sunday Noon until 5:00pm.
The Y is starting by opening to members only. "For safety reasons, we must limit capacity some, so it's a members first policy for now. We will announce later when guests and reciprocal members will be able to use our facilities," said Johnson.
Members Age 16 + are welcome during open hours. Members age 12 – 15 are welcome if they are with a parent or are participating in a program. Children under the age of 12 will have to wait just a little longer to come back to the Y because Child Watch and youth specific play areas will not be open right away.
Older adult members are welcome during open hours. "Our senior center, which we call the Stolle Center, won't be open right way," said Johnson. "We still want our seniors to come for their classes and fitness," Johnson said.
Members are being asked to come to the Y with a purpose. "We want people come in, exercise or do their class or lap swimming, and then head out. For safety reasons, we won't have showers available right away, and there won't be places to congregate or socialize," said Johnson. A schedule of the fitness classes will be available on the website: www.countrysideymca.org.
Staff will be wearing masks while interacting with members, and members are being encouraged to wear masks as they enter the Y, exit the Y, and move through hallways. "We don't expect members to wear a mask while they exercise, but for the health of others we are asking them to wear one in our public spaces and when interacting with staff," said Johnson.
Members will enter through one entrance to be checked-in. While in the Y, they will have to adhere to the physical distance guidelines of six feet of space between people. Class sizes will be reduced in order to meet this state mandated guideline, and some exercise equipment has been removed from the Cardio Strength Centers at both locations and the remaining equipment is placed six feet apart.
In the future, the Y plans to reopen more spaces and programs like courts for basketball, pickleball, and racquetball as well as arts classes. "We are one of the largest YMCAs in the country, it's going to take some time for us to reopen all our activities, but we are working on it and we'll continue to announce new things that are opening as soon as possible," Johnson said. More information about what's open will be available on the Y's website.
"We are so excited to reopen our facilities to our community. More importantly, however, our Y has always been more than a building. Our Y is about people – people from all backgrounds and walks of life who come together to improve their lives, nurture their families and strengthen their community," said Johnson. "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."
About Countryside YMCA
Countryside YMCA- one of the world's largest YMCAs – is a nonprofit dedicated to strengthening the Warren County community through youth development, healthy living and social responsibility. For over 40 years, Countryside YMCA has embodied the Christian principles that help people achieve a balance of spirit, mind and body. All are welcome to experience the unmatched facilities, outreach, and varied programs available only at the Y. www.countrysideymca.org
We don't expect you to wear a mask while you exercise, but for the health of others we encourage you to wear one in our public spaces and when you are interacting with staff. We encourage you to wear a mask as you enter the Y, exit the Y, and move through our hallways. Personal masks must meet the dress code defined in the member handbook. They must be family friendly, and should not have inappropriate content such as language or imagery that is vulgar, sexually explicit or otherwise offensive. Management may enforce these standards at its discretion by asking members to remove any items considered to be inappropriate.
Wash your hands or use our sanitizing stations often. Restrooms are open, and sanitizing stations will be available at entrances, in the Cardio Strength Center, on pool decks, and in any open studios.
Participate in cleaning and disinfecting the equipment you use while at the Y. We ask that you spray down any equipment you use in the CSC or fitness studios. Our staff will then wipe the equipment. Rest assured your efforts are an addition to our cleaning protocols, which meet the guidelines from health experts and local officials. If you are in a water fit class or swim lesson, when the class or lesson ends, you will place any YMCA equipment you use in a bin marked for disinfection.
Follow physical distancing if you are waiting for a class, equipment, or swim lap lane. Also maintain social distancing in any class. Partners exercising together and sharing equipment must maintain group segmentation from others exercising. You'll notice we have removed some equipment and reduced class sizes to meet the required social distance of six feet between members.