YMCA begins Phase 1 of re-opening

Community COVID-19 Featured

You know business is staring to return to usual when the YMCA of Pictou County opens its doors again.

This is the case now during Phase 1 of the Y re-opening, but anyone who is using the expansive facilities will notice a number of changes.

In an effort to keep patrons safe during these days of COVID-19 threat, offerings and procedures at the Y have changed.

For now, memberships at the Y are suspended and the Y is instead offering pre-purchased seven-week fitness packages running June 22-August 8 which can be accessed through https://raceroster.com/events/2020/32240/pcymca-new-opening-fitness-packages.

Lori Morrison, centre manager for the YMCA of Pictou County, explains all doors to the Y will remain locked but the back entrance will be used. The sidewalk area at that door has been marked off in six-foot increments where participants can wait until the manager on duty will “meet you there 10 minutes before the program starts.”

From there, each registered participant will have their temperature checked and be pre-screened before entering the facility. Signs indicating the new, temporary traffic flow are posted.

Group fitness classes will take place in the gym where spaces have also been marked off at six-foot intervals to ensure safety. Workout spaces there are all 12 x 12 feet, explains Marla Sim, Health, Fitness and Recreation director. “So we can accommodate 18 people.”

In the fitness centre upstairs, some of the duplicate equipment has been stored temporarily and signs indicate which of the rest of the equipment is available for use, all physically distanced and respecting the necessary six feet of space between.

A maximum of 16 people at a time can access the equipment, circuit equipment and weights there. “So they’re going to have a nice space to themselves,” Sim notes.

Morrison adds, “It’s definitely set up to promote physical distancing.”

Re-opening the facility is being rolled out in phases. Morrison says, “We’re trying to make sure we’re following all of the parameters and that we can still offer something that is tangible and meaningful, so we wanted to start out slow and build from there. We want to do it right.”

Because of public health concerns, the Y pool is still not able to be open nor are the showers or steam rooms.

“We haven’t had approval from the government to open the pool. We have a plan and we’re ready, but for now the pool will remain closed.”

But when the pool does open, operations there will have a different look at first as well. “It will be beach-style pool access,” Morrison explains.

People will come in with their swimsuits on already, towels in hand, and prepare to swim. The showers on deck will be operating, but there will be no access to the locker rooms or showers there. Pool access will be by appointment only.

“And limit what you bring in,” says Sim. There will no room for gym bags and such, but a little spot to place your keys, cellphone and gym shoes.

For additional details and fitness floor schedule or group fitness schedule, visit http://pcymca.ca or call the Y at 902-752-0202, the phones will be staffed 9 a.m. to noon.

Marla Sim, left, Health, Fitness and Recreation director at the YMCA of Pictou County, and Lori Morrison, centre manager, are ready for Phase 1 of the Y re-opening. (Jardine photo)