The last eight months of the COVID-19 pandemic have led to a lot of changes in our world, and the Princeton Family YMCA is not exempt from change. Safety has been our main priority as we continue to reopen and expand our offerings. We have been careful to follow guidelines set by the state of New Jersey, as well as the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, and some of our health and safety protocols have even gone beyond those requirements in an abundance of caution. We describe those protocols across programs below.
Our response is all about shaping a culture of safety in our amazing Y community – but we need your help to make that goal a reality. We always ask our members to respect one another, and that respect can come in many forms.
- First: respect one another by prioritizing safety for yourself and others, wearing a mask, keeping a distance, being honest about any symptoms, and making sure everyone feels comfortable.
- Second: respect one another by enforcing the rules in a courteous manner.
- Finally: respect one another by acknowledging that everyone is struggling during this difficult time, even if it may not seem that way on the surface, and by being patient and understanding as we all work together to establish a ‘new normal’.
We should do all what we can #ForABetterUs.
Safety Around the Y
In order to participate in any program taking place at the Princeton Family YMCA’s facilities on Paul Robeson Place, members will have to have their temperature checked using a touchless thermometer, and they will have to complete a health screening with several health questions. Anybody with a temperature of 100.4 degrees or over, or anyone who has answered positively to any questions on the health screening, will not be permitted to enter the YMCA building.
Members and staff are asked to keep a physical distance of 6 feet throughout the building. Masks are required for members and staff at all times.
For all activities, members and staff should not come in if they have been exposed to someone who has a known or suspected case of COVID-19, have symptoms of COVID-19, or have a confirmed case of COVID-19. If a case is reported, the YMCA will work with the Local Health Department to conduct contact tracing.
Masks are required at all times in the Wellness Center. The YMCA does not encourage intense activity while wearing a mandated face mask, and members should be aware of any health conditions that may be challenged by wearing a face mask while exercising.
Staff will disinfect equipment throughout the day, but members are also required to wipe down machines before and after each use. Members will be given a bottle of cleaning solution when they arrive at the Wellness Center to help in this effort.
Members are asked to bring their own equipment, like mats, towels, and water bottles. There will be no access to water fountains, so members should plan accordingly. The locker rooms are only open for restroom use or for members using the pool.
Members using the pool are required to wear a mask in the building until they enter the pool area. Since both the CDC and the New Jersey State Guidelines warn of potential drowning risks associated with wearing a mask while swimming, members in the pool are not required to wear a mask. Only four swimmers are allowed in the pool at any given time for lap swimming, and physical distancing is required when they are in the pool area.
Both the CDC and the State of New Jersey state that lifeguards should not wear masks while actively guarding. Lifeguards are expected to wear a mask if they need to speak to someone or are walking on the pool deck. Members are asked to not spend extended periods of time speaking to lifeguards, both to avoid distracting the lifeguard and to limit potential exposure.
Swim instructors are required to wear a transparent face shield during their lesson, but they are not required to wear a mask due to the aforementioned potential drowning risks. Swim instructors will rotate out any equipment used between lessons so there is no sharing. All items will be sanitized after lessons.
During swim lessons, only one adult may stay on the pool deck per child and they must wear a mask. Seating options are extremely limited at this time. Students taking swim lessons should come prepared with their bathing suits under their street clothes to limit locker room and bathroom traffic. They should be prepared to quickly dry off and exit the facility after their lesson is over.
Students and staff are required to wear masks that cover their nose and mouth at all times during the program. Staff are required to wear additional PPE such as gloves when assisting students with self-care needs such as first aid, and while serving food.
The YMCA will ensure increased sanitation and disinfection of high-volume surfaces such as doorknobs, tables and bathrooms. Toys or materials that are difficult to sanitize will not be used, and all other supplies will be wiped down after use. Staff will supervise students to ensure regular and effective handwashing.
The New Jersey State Guidelines do not require masks for outdoor play, but athletes are strongly encouraged to wear masks for everyone’s safety while playing basketball on the YMCA’s outdoor court. If staff, coaches, or other spectators are present on the sidelines, they are required to wear masks. Hand sanitizer is available.
For those playing basketball in the YMCA’s indoor court, masks are required at all times for players, coaches, and spectators. The YMCA does not encourage intense activity while wearing a mandated face mask, and members should be aware of any health conditions that may be challenged by wearing a face mask while exercising.