SOUTH SIOUX CITY, Neb. — It's been nearly three months since the Norm Waitt Sr. YMCA last welcomed members and the community inside, closing down to help slow the spread of COVID-19.
While the facility was closed, the staff at the Y stayed busy helping those impacted by COVID-19.
"The YMCA's mission is all about strengthening the foundations of our community so that's what we tried to do during this crisis." CEO Rhonda Robson and her staff have stayed busy while the facility was shut down.
The Y partnered with other organizations and businesses, like Tyson Fresh Meats and the Food Bank of Siouxland to distribute food, handing out nearly a quarter of a million pounds of food to Siouxlanders in need.
But on Monday, June 1st, the Y is unlocking its doors and welcoming back its members, but there are some new protocols in place to keep everyone safe.
"We are going based on the 10-person rule in the areas that we are opening and making sure that we have 6 feet in all directions," Robson said of the new protocols in place at the Y.
Following CDC recommendations, class sizes will be no more than 10 people, equipment on the wellness floor has been spaced out and lap swimmers will need to reserve a lane in the fitness pool.
"Our areas are spread out so that way, we have more than 6 feet between each individual piece of equipment," Robson said. "Plus there is only a certain amount of people that can be in the area at one time."
Everyone will be required to wear a mask to enter and exit the building and in common areas. They are optional on the exercise floor. Those entering the building will have their temperature checked and there will be an increase in sanitization throughout the facility.
"We have staff, we have members cleaning and then we are shutting down in the middle of the day, completely shutting our doors, deep cleaning and then reopening back up for the vulnerable population for the first hour after we reopen back up in the afternoon and then back open to the general membership."
As the Y prepares to welcome back its members, staff want everyone to know that they are all in this together.
"We just want you to know, we're doing the best that we possibly can in order to make sure that this YMCA is as safe as it possibly can be," Robson said. "I think all of us need to realize that although there are different restrictions in different areas, we are all in this together. And I think that is the biggest thing. The YMCA is here to build up the community, to strengthen it in a time of crisis and we just want to be that community center that helps strengthen the foundations of our community."
The Y is reopening in 4 phases with Monday's opening beginning with Phase 1A. For more on what is in each phase and more details about their reopening, following the Y on Facebook and visit their website.
The Y will also be offering Summer Care as an alternative to their traditional Summer Camp as well as youth swimming lessons.
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