For a Safer Us FAQs

At the First Coast YMCA, safety is our number one priority. We believe it is our social responsibility to do everything we can to keep our members, participants, volunteers and staff healthy and slow the spread of the coronavirus in our community.

UPDATE – 7.30.21 With the recent surge of COVID-19 cases and hospitalizations on the First Coast, we are now requiring that everyone ages 2 and older wear a mask indoors at the Y. This change in our policy follows newly-released guidance from the CDC and the American Academy of Pediatrics.

We are also diligently following our other safety protocols in our branches, including:

  • Facilitating safe social distancing practices with:
    • Reducing capacity in classes and KidZone
    • Requiring reservations for classes, swim time and KidZone
    • Spacing equipment 6 feet apart
  • Cleaning and disinfecting all areas and equipment regularly
  • Improving ventilation and reducing airborne viruses with innovative UV technology in our HVAC systems

We are also diligently following other safety protocols in our youth programs including day camp, overnight camp, sports and before & afterschool care. We encourage parents to do everything they can to reduce their child’s potential exposure before arriving at the Y so that everyone can have a safe and fun experience.

As our policies continue to evolve, we will share any potential policy updates as quickly as it is safe and practical to do so. We appreciate everyone’s understanding and support to help us all stay healthy together!

We appreciate everyone’s understanding and support to help us all stay healthy together.

FAQs

Do I have to wear a mask at the Y?
Following guidance from the CDC and the American Academy of Pediatrics, and with the recent surge of COVID-19 cases and hospitalizations on the First Coast, we are now requiring everyone ages 2 and older to wear a mask indoors at the Y.

  • Members, participants, guests and volunteers must wear a mask to check-in, in the lobby, when dropping off or picking up children at KidZone, waiting for a class to begin, in the locker rooms and any other common areas of the facility.
  • Wearing a mask while in a group exercise class, using strength and cardio equipment, stretching and swimming is optional if you maintain social distance at all times.
  • All employees, except Rescue Ready Lifeguards, Group Ex instructors teaching a class or child care staff leading outdoor activities, must wear a mask at all times during their shift.

Why do I have to wear a mask if I am vaccinated?
The CDC changed its policy in July 2021 based on new data that showed while vaccinated people are less likely to become severely sick or die, they can still infect others the same as unvaccinated people.

Why do I have to wear a mask in the lobby but don’t have to wear a mask while working out?
Based on CDC guidance for high-intensity exercise, wearing a mask while in a group exercise class, using strength and cardio equipment, stretching and swimming is optional if you maintain social distance at all times. We are following a multi-layered approach with our safety protocols based on CDC guidance to help facilitate safe social distancing, which includes limited class sizes, class reservations and spaced equipment. Additionally, we also have UV technology in our HVACs that reduce the amount of airborne viruses. 

Does my child have to wear a mask in KidZone?
Per CDC and American Academy of Pediatrics guidelines, children ages 2 and older are required to wear a mask while at the Y unless they are able to maintain social distance and/or are engaged in high-intensity activities including group exercise, running on a treadmill, playing outside or playing sports.

Does my child have to wear a mask at day camp or during youth sports?
Per CDC and American Academy of Pediatrics guidelines, children ages 2 and older are required to wear a mask while at the Y unless they are able to maintain social distance and/or are engaged in high-intensity activities including group exercise, running on a treadmill, playing outside or playing sports. Click these links for more information about Camp Immokaleeand Youth Sports safety protocols.

Does my child have to wear a mask in the Before and Afterschool program?
Per CDC and American Academy of Pediatrics guidelines, children ages 2 and older are required to wear a mask while at the Y unless they are able to maintain social distance and/or are engaged in high-intensity activities including group exercise, running on a treadmill, playing outside or playing sports.

What other safety protocols am I required to follow at the Y?

  • Stay Home if Sick If you are not feeling well, please do not come to the Y.
  • Avoid Close Contact – Members and participants will be asked to follow 6-foot social distancing guidelines set by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).
  • Wash Hands Often –Hand sanitizing stations and disinfectant wipes for equipment will be provided throughout the facility. We also encourage everyone to wash their hands frequently with soap and water, for at least 20 seconds.
  • Clean Equipment Before and After Use –Members will be asked to wipe down any equipment they touch before and after use with the disinfectant wipes provided throughout our facilities. Additionally, members may experience wait times to allow time for extra sanitization of equipment on the wellness floor and in group exercise rooms.

What happens if I don’t want to follow these safety protocols?
Members and participants who fail to comply with new policies and procedures are putting others at risk. They may be asked to immediately leave the facility. Refusal to comply with these protocols, as stated in the Member Code of Conduct, may result in membership and participation suspension and ultimately termination.

What happens if someone at the Y tests positive for COVID-19?
Per CDC guidelines, the individual can return to the Y once meeting the following criteria:

  • At least 10 days from symptom onset or first positive test result and
  • No fever for 24 hours without the use of fever-reducing medicines and
  • Other symptoms are improving*

Will I be notified if someone tests positive at the Y?
We will notify anyone at the Y who may have had close contact* with someone who recently tested positive. The health department has informed the Y that the health department is responsible for notifying anyone who may have had prolonged contact with a positive person (contact tracing**). However, out of an abundance of caution and as a courtesy, we will take this extra step to reduce the potential of further spread.

*According to the CDC, for COVID-19, close contact is defined as any individual who was within 6 feet of an infected person for at least 15 minutes total within a 24-hour period starting from 2 days before illness onset (or, for asymptomatic patients, 2 days prior to positive specimen collection) until the time the patient is isolated.

**According to the Florida Department of Health, when a person tests positive for a disease or condition, a public health case investigator will work with the patient to create a list of people they’ve been in contact with during a given time frame. The contact tracing expert then contacts each of those people so that they can take appropriate precautions (getting tested, self-isolation, monitor for symptoms, etc.) and, in turn, create a list of people they’ve been in contact with as necessary.

Will I be safe at the Y if I am considered to be in a vulnerable population?
While we are doing our part to ensure the safety of everyone in our facilities, the CDC says older adults and people of any age who have serious underlying medical conditions might be at higher risk for severe illness from COVID-19 and it is recommended they stay home and away from crowds as much as possible, especially if they are not fully vaccinated.

Are there any options for members who do not yet feel safe to return to the Y?
On Demand online workouts and other virtual services are available to members.

Why do I need to sign a new waiver?
The waiver is the same one members sign when joining the First Coast Y, but in section one (paragraph three), the language has been updated to include “exposure to communicable diseases”. Additionally, we have gone paperless and you can now sign the waiver electronically.

How often does the Y clean its equipment and facilities?
Employees clean equipment and frequently-touched surfaces in all zones at least three times daily and after individual use. This includes toys and other frequently touched objects in KidZone, Before and Afterschool Care and other youth serving programs. In addition, a professional cleaning service performs a thorough cleaning of the facility every night. We also encourage members to wipe down exercise equipment before and after use with the disinfectant wipes provided on the wellness floor.

What kind of cleaners does the Y use?
The Y will only use products on List N: Disinfectants for use against SARS-CoV-2 that meet the EPA’s criteria for use against the virus that causes COVID-19.

What if the wipes dispenser is empty or the equipment is dirty?
Please notify a staff member who will address your concerns immediately.

Is the steam room and/or sauna open?
Steam Rooms and Saunas are open with limited capacity to account for social distancing.

Can I place my membership on hold?
Thank you for your patience and understanding during these unprecedented times. It is our privilege to serve you and our community. While we understand you may feel the need to place your membership on hold, we are encouraging all members to stay engaged with the First Coast YMCA. Please contact your branch to learn more about your options.

How do I make a complaint or give feedback about service?
You can ask to speak to the Executive Director, any Experience team member at the branch or complete an instant feedback survey.