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Charlotte YMCA takes steps to reopen sites on June 1
Locations closed due to COVID-19
Published Thursday, May 28, 2020 9:48 am
by Herbert L. White | The Charlotte Post

YMCA of Greater Charlotte is in the process of opening programs and facilities like Camp Thunderbird starting June 1.

The YMCA of Greater Charlotte is taking a staggered approach to reopening programs and services.

The nonprofit announced that it will include limited access to outdoor group exercise classes, select pools, and the launch of day camp and overnight camp options starting June 1.
Local YMCA officials said they took input from local, state and national resources and partners to create a framework of controls that monitors and minimizes risk using a layered approach. Safety measures for YMCA facilities and programs will include physical distancing measures, smaller group size allowances, beefed-up sanitation practices, face masks for team members, and a health screening for everyone who enters facilities.

“Nothing is more important than the health and safety of our team, our members, our families and our program participants, and we’re committed to creating new kinds of experiences and summer programs in keeping with appropriate standards and mandates,” said Todd Tibbits, president and CEO of YMCA of Greater Charlotte. “While we were disappointed to learn that our gym facilities would not be part of the state’s Phase 2 reopening process, we’ve designed a plan that will fit with the state’s current regulations, and will allow us to get back to what we do best – serve our community with the programs and services they enjoy and depend on.”

Due to the COVID-19 pandemic forced the YMCA to close its 19 branches and two overnight camps on March 17 and immediately realized a significant revenue decline. Membership and programs account for nearly 90 percent of the Y’s revenue.

The steps to reopening include:

• June 1 launch of outdoor fitness experiences at six branches– Brace Family, Dowd, Harris, Keith Family, Lowe’s and Morrison Family. Group exercise classes and fitness will be held on rooftops, parking decks, outdoor pavilions and athletic fields.

• On June 8, the YMCA will open with limited hours outdoor pools at Brace Family, Harris, Hemby Program Center, Keith Family, Morrison Family and Simmons branches and indoor pools at Dowd and Lowe’s branches.

• On May 18, the Y launched Kick Start Camp, a resource available for parents returning to work and in need of childcare. Kick Start Camp is open to all families and is an expansion of the Y’s original initiative to provide childcare to essential healthcare employees at Atrium Health and Novant Health. Kick Start Camp is available at Brace Family, Dowd (through May 29), Harris, Johnston, Keith Family, McCrorey, Morrison Family, Simmons and Stratford Richardson YMCAs.

• Summer Day Camp will be offered at 14 sites. Lincoln County, Lowe’s and Sally’s YMCAs began on May 26, YMCA Camp Thunderbird starts June 8, and an additional 10 sites open on June 15, including Harris, Johnston, McCrorey, Morrison Family, Simmons, Steele Creek and Stratford Richardson.

• Two overnight camps, Camp Thunderbird in South Carolina and Camp Harrison in North Carolina, will open on June 7 and June 14, respectively.

“We know that the Y will look different on the other side of this pandemic,” said Tibbits. “And we recognize the responsibility we have to our community, our members, our donors and our volunteers to balance the economics and the equity of our programs, facilities and initiatives.”

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