YMCA of Eastern Ontario

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Re-opening September 1 Re-opening FAQ

 

We look forward to seeing you back at the YMCA of Eastern Ontario on September 1, 2020! The following are answers to questions that you’ve asked us. We will update them regularly.

YOUR EXPERIENCE AT THE YMCA

 

What changes will we notice when the Y re-opens?

When you arrive at the Y, you will notice that we have designated entrance and exit doors to permit physical distancing. You will also check-in when you arrive and complete a self-screening questionnaire. Physical distancing, wearing masks when not working out, extra sanitizing stations and additional cleaning staff will be in place.

USE OF MASKS

 

What are the rules regarding wearing face masks at the YMCA?

Fortunately, because of the configuration of YMCA facilities and the steps we are taking to ensure physical distancing in our buildings masks are not required when working out, but are required at other times, for example, when walking in hallways and locker rooms.

PHYSICAL DISTANCING

How will the Y limit the number of people using the gym or in fitness classes?

After reviewing feedback from our member survey indicating that our members would like to have as much of the pre-pandemic Y experience as possible, as well as lessons from other facilities that were able to open prior to Ontario, we will not be requiring gym equipment to be booked. We will ask everyone to be conscious of time while using equipment to allow others to use equipment as quickly as possible.

Individuals will self-screen before purchasing a day pass or swiping in.

It is up to all of us to be mindful of our surroundings, especially for physical distancing, and to remember that we’re all in this together!

CLEANING & SANITIZING

What about cleaning?

When you arrive, you will notice many new sanitizing stations have been installed, which we expect everyone to use each time you use a piece of equipment or program space. Our staff will also be providing additional cleaning, including a deep clean when our facilities close between 1-3 pm, Monday to Friday, however, we all need to clean up when we’re finished what we’re doing and stay safe! It is up to all of us to be mindful of our surroundings, especially for physical distancing, and to remember that we’re all in this together!

How will we ensure cleanliness in the fitness rooms?

You will notice physical distancing decals on the floor so everyone can maintain a safe two-metres distance from each other. Everyone is expected to sanitize the equipment they use before and after class. Only two persons will be able to access the storage room at a time.

You are encouraged to bring your own mat, if you wish.

FACILITIES, HOURS AND DROP-IN

 

What hours will the YMCA be open?

After reviewing responses to our member survey and taking into account public health guidelines as well as pre-pandemic facilities usage, the YMCA of Eastern Ontario has set out phase one opening hours for Brockville and Kingston locations. We are doing everything we can within public health guidelines and the need for fiscal sustainability to offer an enjoyable and safe experience at our facilities. Prior to the pandemic, our facilities on Wright Cres., and Park St. opened at 5:30 a.m. Given the current realities including the need for additional staffing for deep sanitizing we will now be opening at 6 a.m.

These hours indicate when the buildings will be open; the times for individual programs are in the planning stage. Building hours may be adjusted as programming is put in place. Please note that St. Lawrence College is delaying opening SHAC at this time.

Brockville

Monday

Tuesday

Wednesday

Thursday

Friday

Saturday

Sunday

6-1

6-1

6-1

6-1

6-1

7-1

7-1

Closed for cleaning

Closed for cleaning

Closed for cleaning

Closed for cleaning

Closed for cleaning

Closed

Closed

3-8

3-8

3-8

3-8

3-6

Closed

Closed

Kingston

Monday

Tuesday

Wednesday

Thursday

Friday

Saturday

Sunday

6-1

6-1

6-1

6-1

6-1

7-3

7-3

Closed for cleaning

Closed for cleaning

Closed for cleaning

Closed for cleaning

Closed for cleaning

Closed

Closed

3-8

3-8

3-8

3-8

3-7

Closed

Closed

Will we have to register for classes or to use equipment?

After reviewing feedback from our member survey indicating that our members would like to have as much of the pre-pandemic Y experience as possible, as well as lessons from other facilities that were able to open prior to Ontario, we will not be requiring gym equipment to be booked. We will ask everyone to be conscious of time while using equipment or swimming to allow others to use equipment or the pool lanes as quickly as possible. Staff will remind you if you lose track of time.

Will we have access to lockers and change rooms?

The very good news is that lockers and changerooms will be in service on opening day, September 1. You will notice signs reminding everyone to respect physical distancing of 6 or more feet (2 metres), which may require some patience on everyone’s part. Masks will be required in changerooms and at all times when you are not actively engaged in working out or swimming.

FEES & MEMBERSHIP

 

When will our membership fees begin?

We are opening our facilities, including pools, on September 1. Fees payments will be charged on September 1 and on the first of each month thereafter.

I am not ready to return to the Y. What do I do?

Contact member services by August 21 to let us know that you’d like to put your membership on hold. This will avoid a payment being taken on September 1. Your membership will be placed on hold until January 1. You may activate it any time during this period.  

Brockville: yba.ymca@eo.ymca.ca

Kingston: kng.membership@eo.ymca.ca

What happens if I want to cancel after August 21?

The deadline to cancel or place a membership on hold was August 21 -- an additional week from the usual 14 day notice required. We have allowed a few additional days on top of this. Requests received from here will be effective October 1.

I will be moving and will have to cancel my membership, will the credit on my account be reimbursed?

Credits and refunds will be applied and processed as once we re-open. For refunds of credit due to a cancellation of membership, please note that these refunds will be made by cheque and mailed to you. This may take some weeks to process. Another option available is to donate your credit to the YMCA and receive a charitable tax receipt in return.

If hours and services will be reduced for re-opening, will the membership fees be reduced?

To offer our members a safe and enjoyable experience, we are following public health guidelines, feedback from our member survey, scanning data of member usage of our facilities pre-Covid, and the need to ensure fiscal sustainability to determine hours, protocols, etc. for phase one of our re-opening. As an example, our midday closure for deep sanitizing will take place at what is typically the quietest time of day for facility use. We will be offering full gym facilities, the pools will be open and group fitness classes will be offered. Operational costs are increasing due to the pandemic and it is important that we are financially responsible to sustain the YMCA into the future.

I am a student at St. Lawrence College. Is my membership active? 

St. Lawrence College is delaying opening SHAC at this time. We are in contact with the college and will share updates as they are available.

PROGRAMS & SERVICES

Will there be changes to the schedule?

All areas of our facilities will be open for all to enjoy while respecting physical distancing. Programs and schedules are in development and will be shared soon.

What is the status of TLC (Total Life Care)?

TLC programs will continue with scheduled times, but class size may be smaller. The space has been reconfigured to allow for physical distancing, extra sanitizing stations are in place as is additional cleaning protocol. Program staff will reach out to you directly in the coming weeks.

Will we be able to use the squash courts in Kingston?

The squash courts in Kingston will be open on September 1. Due to the difficulty in maintaining physical distancing while playing, public health requires use of the courts to be limited to individual or “group-bubble” play.

Why isn’t my favourite class offered at the same time as before the pandemic?

Based on the experiences of other Ys that have opened before those in Ontario as well as our member survey, we know that not all members are ready to return on day one. In addition, we must account for additional cleaning times. We are building a schedule based on that expectation. We will be monitoring usage and growth to be responsive to member demand. We’re all in this together and a little patience will go a long way toward ensuring everyone’s safety and creating a positive environment.

When will kids programs, swimming lessons and Playcare be available?

Safety of everyone who uses the Y is our top priority. For this reason, these particular programs and services won’t resume right away. It is our hope that these will be able to get underway mid-fall. Private swim lessons will be the first to start as they more easily permit physical distancing.

How do we register for programs once they begin?

Our new Avocado system will allow you to create an account and register easily for programs once they become available. Your email address will be required to create your new account.

AQUATICS

Will Aquafit classes and lane swims resume?

We are pleased to share with you that aquafit classes and lane swims will be available beginning on opening day, September 1! We will begin this phase of opening with continuing our drop-in access. This means that you will not have to book either lane swims or aquafit classes. This decision has been made based on your feedback in our member survey and the experience of other facilities that have opened before those in Ontario. We will monitor how well this works and will adapt as necessary.

With public health guidelines in place, classes and lanes will be limited. To address this, we will monitor demand and add classes or lanes as numbers grow.

Are both pools being used? Will Aquafit be run in both deep and shallow water?

Both lap and leisure pools will be open as of September 1 and will be available at scheduled times throughout the day. Aquafit classes will be in deep and shallow water simultaneously as we will make full use of the pool to allow for physical distancing.

Will there be a time limit for swimming, or using equipment or machines?

We are asking everyone to be conscious of time, particularly during busy hours. We all have to work together to make this an enjoyable experience for everyone. We will be as flexible regarding time as we can be – especially when it’s not busy. When it is busy – particularly for lane swims and machines – Y staff may remind you of the time.

How many people will be accommodated for lane swims?

Following the Royal Lifesaving Society and Swim Ontario guidelines, we will be implementing a new swimming model: circle swimming. This allows physical distancing with up to six swimmers per double lane. The diagram below illustrates the new model. This provides three meters between swimmers in a single lane and 2.5 metres between lanes. The number of people in the pool will depend upon the number of lanes open at any given time. You will be able to see the number of lanes available in our pool schedules.

Will swimming lessons be offered?

Safety of everyone who uses the Y is our top priority. For this reason, swimming lessons won’t resume right away. It is our hope that these will be able to get underway mid-fall. Private swim lessons will be the first to start as they more easily permit physical distancing.

WEEKLY UPDATES

We are updating our information about re-opening each Friday. Please check out social media accounts or the news page on our website for current information.