The YMCA of Greater Omaha will partially reopen facilities in the next few weeks, starting with Iowa.
The Charles E. Lakin YMCA in Council Bluffs and the Mills County YMCA in Glenwood will open Monday. The opening of the YMCA Healthy Living Center in Council Bluffs, which serves an older population, has yet to be scheduled.
The seven facilities in Nebraska are tentatively scheduled to open June 1. They are the Armbrust, Southwest, Butler-Gast, Maple Street, Downtown, Sarpy and Twin Rivers YMCAs.
Only cardio and weight equipment, free weights and walking tracks will be available for use, said John Monson, spokesman for the organization. Access will be first come, first served and will be restricted to 50% of capacity.
The pools and gyms will remain closed, and no showers, towel service, coffee, day care or group classes will be offered at this time, he said. The steam and sauna rooms will also remain closed.
People who come back should like what they will see, Monson said.
“We took the time during the temporary closure to do serious, serious deep cleaning at all facilities,” he said. “I think members will be pleasantly surprised.”
Monson said the decision about what to open was based on being able to control access and numbers of people. The organization is still sorting out how to reopen pools and exercise classes.
The Y had about 64,000 members in the Omaha-Council Bluffs area before the coronavirus struck. The Y has been allowing members to put their membership on hold, and that offer will continue, Monson said. Those whose holds expired May 1 will automatically have their membership reactivated in June unless they indicate otherwise, he said. He declined to say how many members terminated or suspended their memberships.
“We were pleasantly surprised how many people stuck with us,” he said.
Staff will be required to wear masks, but members will not.
Only members who are 15 or older will be able to use the facilities. Drinking directly from fountains will not be permitted, though filling water bottles will be allowed, according to the organization.Our best staff photos of May 2020