March 9, 2020
Dear Members of our YMCA Family,
I know you are all aware of the impact of COVID-19 as it spreads across our country. I want you to be assured that our Y is taking this very seriously. We are receiving updates from Y-USA on a regular basis. I met with Senator King, Senator Collins, and Congressman Golden last week in Washington, DC and there was a valuable discussion with them about this grave situation. I have been in contact with our Public Health Director and many medical experts in our region. I will be sending to you regular updates, but for now there are simple things we can all do as a community, and specifically at our Y.
Important Policies to Follow:
- DO NOT come to the YMCA for any reason if you are sick. This is vitally important. This includes all members, parents/guardians, children, teens, volunteers and staff. Please take time to get better at home and be sure to contact your medical provider. Our YMCA community includes vulnerable populations that could struggle even if they are exposed to a simple common cold. This is most serious. You need to know that our staff has the authority and permission from me to ask you to leave if they see and are aware of anyone in our building who is showing signs of a cough, cold, fever, etc. Know that they are doing this for the sake of ALL our Y Family. We will support those who are ill in every way possible while they are home, but we cannot have you at our Y and around our most vulnerable members.
- Although we take our current cleaning practices very seriously, we are adding additional diligence to cleaning door handles, equipment, all surfaces, children’s toys, equipment, etc. We ask our members to ALWAYS do the following:
- Wipe all equipment, weights, machines after using them with the spray and paper towels that are provided in all fitness centers. Wipe all mats clean after using. If you take yoga or any class requiring a mat, we strongly suggest you bring your own mat as a precautionary measure. We will also be having staff and volunteers ensuring all of the equipment and items are repeatedly disinfected, but we encourage you to please take a role in this and wipe clean anything you are using after you are done. This is something we ask you to do all of the time and so this should be an easy thing to follow. Just take extra precaution at this time, please.
- Our Welcome Center will be going overboard to clean their areas and pens and equipment on a constant basis. This is where many members stand and write and touch. This will be a primary focus of our staff.
- All of our children and teens areas will be kept clean as always, but extra measures will be implemented. Again, this is a constant for us and something we take very seriously.
The best path is to stay informed on the facts which are being updated on a regular basis. Below are a list of reliable sources of information for you to read from the Center for Disease Control (CDC), the World Health Organization (WHO), and the State of Maine:
There is currently no vaccine to prevent coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) and the best way to prevent illness is to avoid being exposed to this virus.
However, as a reminder, CDC always recommends everyday preventive actions to help prevent the spread of respiratory diseases, including:
- Avoid close contact with people who are sick.
- Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth.
- Stay home when you are sick.
- Cover your cough or sneeze with a tissue, then throw the tissue in the trash.
- Clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces using a regular household cleaning spray or wipe.
- Follow CDC’s recommendations for using a face mask.
- Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds, but preferably more than a minute, especially after going to the bathroom; before eating; and after blowing your nose, coughing, or sneezing. If soap and water are not readily available, use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer with at least 60% alcohol.
Please let me know if you have any questions, concerns or additions to this email that should be shared with our community. We are all here to serve you and want to be sure we keep you healthy and safe.
As always, we are grateful to you for being a part of our Y Family. You make us better each and every day.