Reopening FAQs

Reopening Updates

How did you make decisions about your safety protocols?
With guidance from health officials, government leaders, Y-USA and subject matter experts from our Metropolitan Board of Directors, the First Coast YMCA Reopening Task Force developed For A Safer Us: Reopening Roadmap. The plan outlines our COVID-19 mitigation strategies, representing hundreds of hours of research and many thoughtful, informed discussions about how best to resume operations and safely serve members and program participants. All branches and programs are required to follow the protocols set by the First Coast YMCA Reopening Task Force.


Why are you reopening on May 25 instead of May 18 when Governor Ron DeSantis’ Executive Order allowing gyms to resume operations?
The safety and well-being of our staff, members, volunteers and guests is always the Y’s top priority. As a community organization, it is our social responsibility to do our part in the face of this unprecedented health emergency. We serve many different populations, including our community’s most vulnerable, and are choosing to open in a phased approach. In order to properly prepare our branches for our nearly 48,000 members and train more than 850 employees on new safety guidelines, we will reopen Monday, May 25.

Are there new branch hours?
Yes, the new hours are posted and vary by branch.

  • Branches will close one hour earlier Monday-Friday
  • Open Saturdays from 7:00am-1:00pm
  • Closed on Sunday

These reduced hours will allow our staff extra time to clean, sanitize and “set the stage” for you as we ease into this first phase of reopening. We will continue to review and make adjustments as needed. All First Coast YMCA branches will be closed on Sunday and will have reduced hours Monday-Saturday.

With reduced hours, how will the Y make sure the branches don’t become crowded?
The Y will abide by capacity requirements set by Governor Ron DeSantis per his latest Executive Order. We will be limiting the number of people in our buildings and in our individual classes. Cardio and strength equipment on the wellness floor is properly spaced or will be designated out-of-use to ensure social distancing guidelines are met. Group exercise classes have designated spacing spots to keep members six feet apart.

Will you have special hours for seniors?
Senior hours are 2:00pm-4:00pm Monday-Friday. Seniors can visit the branch during regular hours if they choose, but members are encouraged to allow this special time for our active older adults and other vulnerable populations. On Demand online workouts and other virtual services will be scheduled at this time and available to members.

Will I need to make a reservation?
Yes, due to social distancing requirements, facility capacity and class size will be limited. Reservations will be required for the following:

  • Group Exercise including Aqua Aerobics
  • Lap Swim
  • Personal & Small Group Training
  • KidZone (once it reopens)

Group Exercise Reservations
Lap Swim Reservations

Do I have to be a member or program participant to be in the branch?
During Phase One, only active members, registered program participants and approved visitors/guests will be allowed access to First Coast YMCA facilities and programs. We are suspending the Y’s Nationwide Membership at this time.

What if my membership is on hold?
Members with a hold on their account will need to give the Y permission to release the hold before they will be allowed access to the facility. Please call 904.265.1775 or email to begin the hold release process.

What will I have to do to check-in at the Y?
If you have a fever or don’t feel well, please stay home. Before access is allowed in our branches and/or programs, all staff, members, participants and guests will be required to complete a health assessment, which includes a temperature check and answer these questions:

In the past 48 hours, have you or anyone in your household experienced the following
1. Fever (100.4 F or greater)?
2. Sore throat?
3. Shortness of breath?
4. Headache?
5. Cough?
6. Muscle aches?
7. New loss or taste of smell?
8. Chills and/or repeated shaking?
9. Have you been in contact with anyone diagnosed with COVID-19? If yes, are you a health care worker or first responder?

What happens if I don’t pass the health assessment?
If you answer yes to any of the questions, you will be asked not to return to the Y until you have been fever and/or symptom-free for 48 hours. If you have had contact with anyone diagnosed with COVID-19 and are not a health care worker or first responder wearing Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) or practicing universal precautions, you cannot return to the Y for at least 14 days. You will be encouraged to get tested for COVID-19 and notify us if you test positive.

What happens after I pass the health assessment?
Members will move to the scanning station to scan their mobile app check-in or key fob and once checked-in, can proceed to the Wellness Floor or Group Exercise Class. Participants can proceed to their program area.

Why do you have to take my temperature and ask these questions?
Your safety – and the safety of everyone in our buildings and programs – is our number one priority. We are taking every precaution we can to reduce the risk of exposure to COVID-19. Temperature checks and health surveys are among the CDC’s recommended mitigation strategies.

How long will it take to check-in? How early should I arrive before my class or program begins?
We expect the check-in process could take 5-10 minutes, depending on how many people arrive at the Y at the same time. To be safe, we recommend arriving 15 minutes before your scheduled class in case there is a longer wait.

Do I need to bring my own workout equipment like a mat for yoga?
We encourage you to bring your own but will provide sanitized equipment for your use.

What safety protocols will I be required to follow while at the Y?

  • Members and participants will be asked to follow 6-foot social distancing guidelines set by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).
  • Members and participants are encouraged but not required to wear face masks. According to the CDC, you should:
    • Wear cloth face coverings in public settings where other social distancing measures are difficult to maintain, especially in areas of significant community-based transmission.
    • Use simple cloth face coverings to slow the spread of the virus. Cloth face coverings fashioned from household items or made at home from common materials at low cost can be used as an additional, voluntary public health measure.
    • Cloth face coverings recommended are not surgical masks or N-95 respirators. Those are critical supplies that must continue to be reserved for healthcare workers and other medical first responders, as recommended by current CDC guidance.
  • 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.
  • 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.

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 are going paperless and you can now sign the waiver electronically.

What safety protocols are employees required to follow?

  • Staff who have a fever or are not feeling well are told to stay at home. All staff will be required to complete a health assessment, which includes a survey and a temperature check, before every shift.
  • Employees, except Rescue Ready lifeguards and Group Exercise instructors teaching class, must wear face masks during their shift. Staff will also be required to wear gloves when performing health assessments or serving food and/or beverages.
  • All staff will be required to practice proper social distancing while at work.
  • Hand sanitizing stations and disinfectant wipes for equipment will be provided throughout the facility. We also encourage our employees to wash their hands frequently with soap and water, for at least 20 seconds.
  • Cleaning will now be a major component of all First Coast YMCA job duties. All staff will be required to clean and disinfect surfaces often. There are no exceptions.
  • All staff will be required to complete For A Safer Us training.

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 other people as much as possible.

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.

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.

What programs or services will not be available at the Y?
During Phase One of our reopening plan, the Y is unable to offer the following programs and services due to new safety protocols:

  • No ActivTrax or FastForward Fitness Appointments
  • No Open Gym (Pickup Basketball or Pickleball)
  • Adult and Youth Sports Suspended
  • Swim Team Suspended
  • Swim Lessons Suspended
  • Towel Service Suspended
  • Sauna & Steam Room Closed
  • Playgrounds Closed
  • Dye Clay, St. Augustine & duPont YMCA Pools Closed

Why will KidZone not be open yet?
For the safety of our employees and our youngest members, we are not offering KidZone until the second week of our Phase One opening. It will be available for children ages 5-11. To ensure proper social distancing, we will phase in younger ages in the weeks to come.

Will the pools be open?
Pools will be open at all branches in Phase One except at the Dye Clay, St. Augustine and duPont YMCAs. However, recreational swimming is not available. Lap swimming will be allowed with one swimmer per lane at a time. Aqua Aerobics with social distancing will be offered. Reservations are required for Lap Swim and Aqua Aerobics.

Will locker rooms be available?
Yes, please observe social distancing requirements inside locker rooms. There are also new processes for locker room and shower use:


  • We are limiting the availability of public lockers in order to ensure adequate cleaning and disinfecting.
  • Lockers marked with a green dot have been cleaned inside and out and are available for use.
  • The outside door panel and lock on reserved lockers will be cleaned regularly throughout the day.
  • Wipes will also be available in locker rooms for members to use for additional cleaning.

Showers & Towel Service

  • Showers will be available Monday-Friday from 6:00am-9:00am at all branches and 12:00pm-2:00pm at most branches.
  • Showers that are marked with a chain across the opening are clean and available for use.
  • Towel service will be suspended at this time.
  • Members are encouraged to bring their own towel and other necessities.

Will the steam room and/or sauna be open?
Steam Rooms and Saunas will not be in use at this time due to requirements for social distancing, cleaning and disinfecting.

Will massage services be available?
At this time, massage services will not be offered due to social distancing requirements.

Will tennis be available at the Williams Family YMCA?
Singles and Doubles play will be allowed. Tournaments will not be scheduled at this time.

Are the Healthy Living Centers opening?
Healthy Living Centers will reopen in Phase One. Participants will need to follow safety protocols set by Baptist Health, Brooks Rehabilitation and Florida Blue.

Will you have summer camp?
At this time, we are planning to hold Summer Day Camp and Specialty Camp at locations across the First Coast and overnight camp at Camp Immokalee beginning in June.

  • Capacity is limited due to social distancing requirements.
  • Daily health assessments, including temperature checks, will be required.
  • Swimming and Field Trips will not be part of the activities offered at Day Camp.
  • Registration is available online. Call 904.265.1775 with questions about Summer Day Camp or Specialty Camp and 352.473.4213 with questions about Camp Immokalee.

Specialty Camps are half-day camps for children ages 5-12 with a special focus on a featured activity, i.e. basketball skills training, robotics, cooking. Specialty Camps will be offered 2-4 days per week for a maximum of 3 hours per day.

Emergency child care services will be offered through May 29 to our health care community, first responders, members and participants at locations across the First Coast.

  • Capacity is limited due to social distancing requirements.
  • Daily health assessments, including temperature checks, are required.

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. We will of course honor and respect all requests to hold memberships.

Can I get a refund for youth sports or swim team?
At this time, we do not know when we will be able to safely resume Youth Sports or Swim Team. If you’d like a credit for a future season, you don’t need to do anything. We’ll add the credit to your account and, as a thank you, we’ll also give you $25 in Y Bucks to use toward any program or service.

Can I get a refund for Before and Afterschool?

With school closures and our Before and Afterschool child care program suspended, you might have a credit on your account. Your options are:

  • Apply the credit to the 2020-21 school year for Before & Afterschool
  • Apply the credit towards a week(s) of summer camp
  • Request the credit be converted to a charitable (510c3) donation to the First Coast YMCA to support our Financial Assistance program
  • Request a refund if you are moving or no longer need the program

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.

How can I get updates about the reopening of branches and programs?
Check our website often for updates, allow notifications from our mobile app and follow us on Facebook. We’ll also continue to send updates through email.