Connie Kinyon of Sequim works out for the first time in the Sequim YMCA on Tuesday morning after it reopened the day before to the public after months closed due to safety regulations for COVID-19. “I’m happy to be back,” Kinyon said. “I feel very safe in here as for them being open.” Sequim Gazette photo by Matthew Nash

Connie Kinyon of Sequim works out for the first time in the Sequim YMCA on Tuesday morning after it reopened the day before to the public after months closed due to safety regulations for COVID-19. “I’m happy to be back,” Kinyon said. “I feel very safe in here as for them being open.” Sequim Gazette photo by Matthew Nash

Olympic Peninsula YMCAs open this week

After a more than fourth-month closure, YMCA facilities on the Olympic Peninsula once again open — with a number of health-related modifications.

New guidelines released in Washington’s Safe Start Plan on Aug. 3 allows more flexibility for gymnasiums to re-open, with YMCA facilities in Clallam and Jefferson counties opening Monday, Aug. 10.

“The Olympic Peninsula YMCA has served Clallam and Jefferson Counties for many years and we’ve made it through many challenging times together, none perhaps as impactful for our community and our Y as the COVID-19 pandemic,” said Wendy Bart, CEO of the Olympic Peninsula YMCA.

“We are thrilled to begin reopening our facilities, welcoming back our members and the community, and getting back to what we do best — helping everyone reach their full potential.”

In developing a COVID-19 Safety Plan, staff at Olympic Peninsula YMCAs have a five-stage re-opening process aimed at safely introducing membership back at facilities.

Stage 1 of the re-opening plan includes limiting hours of operation, limiting capacity for safe social distancing, and limiting the programs and services available.

Facilities will only be accessible via reservation basis. Members can make an online reservation at www.olympicpeninsulaymca.org/reservations.

Members will be required to wear facial coverings at all times inside the facilities except when engaged in strenuous exercise. Staff will conduct health screenings, provide safety signage throughout our facilities and maintain “rigorous” cleaning and sanitizing procedures, YMCA representatives said last week.

“The safety of our members and staff will be our top priority and our re-opening will be conducted under the guidance of the CDC, state, and local public health authorities,” YMCA administrators said in a press release on Aug. 7.

“Our staff will be following these guidelines to ensure we are doing everything we can to keep everyone safe.”

YMCA facilities in Sequim, Port Angeles and Port Townsend all closed in March following Gov. Jay Inslee’s stay at home order, and have been closed since.

Besides the five-stage re-opening process, the YMCA’s COVID-19 Safety Plan requires:

• all staff wear facial coverings and conduct their own health screenings before and after work shifts;

• staff training for COVID-19 cleaning and sanitizing procedures; and,

• a designated “isolation area” at each Y facility in the event someone exhibits COVID-19 symptoms.

“We are so incredibly grateful to our members who have stayed with us and our community that supported through these challenging times,” Bart said.

Find more information about the YMCA’s re-opening plan at www.olympicpeninsulaymca.org/reopening.

For more information about the YMCA of Sequim, call 360-477-4381, and for the YMCA of Port Angeles, call 360-452-9244. For general inquiries, email to info@olympicpeninsulaymca.org.

Sequim facility

In Stage 1, YMCA of Sequim will have new hours of operation: 6 a.m.-6 p.m. Monday-Friday, and 8 a.m.-2 p.m. on Saturdays. The facility at 610 N. Fifth Ave. will be closed on Sundays for deep cleaning and sanitizing.

Pool hours are the same as facility hours.

The facility will be limited to the large gymnasium where cardio machines are located, the Wellness Center (weight room) and the lap pool.

A number of cardio machines in the hallway have been moved to the large gymnasium to allow safe social distancing between members.

Locker rooms will only be available for swimmers and bathroom use.

The Sequim facility will offer walking groups at 8 a.m. on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays, and at 5:30 p.m. on Tuesdaysand Thursdays.

The facility will also have a free babysitting course for children and teens of ages 11-15 on Aug. 11 and Aug. 25. The course is a combination of online training and classroom instruction at the YMCA of Sequim and is open to members and non-members (see www.olympicpeninsulaymca.org/babysitting).

Among services not available in Sequim are: group exercise classes; hot tub; shallow pool; saunas/steam rooms; personal training; playcare; open gym; pickleball; racquetball; volleyball; basketball; locker rooms/locks (except for swimmers); lounge area; playcare; coffee and towel services, and aquatic programs (swim lessons, water aerobic classes).

In addition, because the facility does not have any programs or activities available for youth younger than 12, the Sequim facility is not allowing users younger than 12 in Stage 1.

Port Angeles facility

The YMCA of Port Angeles, 302 S. Fancis St., is also open 6 a.m.-6 p.m. Monday-Friday, 8 a.m.-2 p.m. on Saturdays, and closed on Sundays for deep cleaning and sanitizing.

The facility will be limited to the large gymnasium (with cardio machines, spin bikes and rowing machines) and to the Wellness Center (weight room).

Several cardio machines have been moved to allow safe social distancing between members.

The locker rooms will only be available for bathroom use.

The Port Angeles will offer weekly walking groups at 8 a.m. on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays. In addition, childcare will be available for families in need of care for the fall 2020 school year.

YMCA staff are working with local school districts on a plan to provide childcare services. Families who need care can fill out an inquiry form at www.olympicpeninsulaymca.org/youthdev/atb-at-dry-creek-elementary-school; or they can contact childcare director Montesz Kelley-Shears at montesz@olympicpeninsulaymca.org.

Among services not available in Port Angeles are: Group exercise classes; saunas/steam rooms; personal training, playcare; open gym; racquetball; volleyball; basketball; locker rooms/locks; lounge area; playcare; coffee and towel services; birthday parties; Family Night, and youth sports programs.

Like the Sequim facility, there will be no services available and the facility will not be open for use by those younger than 12.

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