In a joint news release, the leadership of the YMCA of Greater Birmingham (YMCA) and the Levite Jewish Community Center (LJCC) announced they plan to re-open their facilities to members on Monday, June 1, 2020.
Supporting the Community
Closed since Monday, March 16 in response to the COVID-19 outbreak, the YMCA and LJCC did not sit idly by while there were growing community needs. Both groups mobilized and directed their resources to provide emergency childcare services for frontline workers, food services and blood drives.
- Both organizations have provided approximately 3,200 hours of childcare combined. *In fact, Bham Now reported that as early as March 18th, the YMCA started converting facilities to provide health care workers daycare for their children.
- Through their food program, the LJCC has served more than 1,300 meals and provided 500 grocery boxes.
- The YMCA’s partnership with American Red Cross has yielded 150 units of blood from blood drives held at their locations.
Working Closely with Health Officials and UAB
Fitness facilities and pools have been some of the last public areas to re-open since Governor Kay Ivey issued her amended Safer at Home order on May 11th.
Working closely with local health officials and UAB, the YMCA and LJCC issued the following precautions for each organization.
Precautions put in place by the YMCA:
- Social distancing will be required
- Workout equipment spaced to establish safe distancing
- Additional training for staff members on CDC safety guidelines• Staff required to wear face coverings
- Members encouraged to wear face coverings
- Staff and member temperatures taken at entry and screened using CDC guidelines• Class sizes limited to facilitate distancing and will require reservations
- Pool limited to lap swim only, by reservation only
Precautions put in place by the LJCC:
- Social distancing will be required
- Members will sign up for facility use in advance to ensure appropriately distanced use
- Equipment reorganized to accommodate more people within safe distances
- Additional training for staff members on CDC safety guidelines
- Staff and members required to wear face coverings
- Members who come onsite will be screened according to CDC health guidelines through our Safety
Ambassadors, a new position created to ensure everyone’s safety
- Creation of Customer Care Line to address any member concerns
- Group fitness classes remain virtual until further notice
On the subject of re-opening, Dan Pile, president and CEO of the YMCA of Greater Birmingham stated, “For everyone’s safety, we opted to delay re-opening. We are eager to be open, but we are more eager for the wellness of our community. We continue to prioritize the safety of our members, our team and their families as we implement new protocols upon opening.”
Samantha Dubrinsky, LJCC Executive Director added, “Implementing a careful, considered approach to reopening is one important way that we’re serving our members. We are committed to their safety. A delay provided the time we needed to properly equip our team and adjust our structure and facilities. On June 1, our members will return to a familiar place with an adjusted experience, designed with expert guidance from infectious disease specialists.”
More than fitness facilities, YMCA and LJCC recognize their impact on the community and the importance of working together.
“One bright spot in this has been the opportunity for collaboration between like-organizations,” Pile continued. “The YMCA and the LJCC have complementary missions; we provide similar services to our members and significant outreach to the broader community.” concluded Pile.