According to a recent survey on the safety protocols of gyms, only 15 positive COVID-19 cases were reported by contact tracers to YMCAs in New York State. The survey, which was conducted by the Alliance of New York State YMCAs and included data from September 1 through October 31, found a .0021% positivity rate among the 708,806 visits at 83 YMCA locations across New York.
“New York State’s YMCAs have been working together since the beginning of the pandemic to create clean, safe spaces for communities across New York,” explained Kyle Stewart, Executive Director of the Alliance of New York State YMCAs. “These results not only underscore the Y’s ability to exceed the State’s stringent safety and capacity guidelines, but also showcases our member’s alignment with YMCA protocols. We are proud of our staff and our members for keeping the YMCA safe for all.”
The survey, which found no evidence of positive cases originating at the Y, is a bright spot for the non-profit organization, which is struggling to balance a substantial decrease in revenue, with an unprecedented demand for its critical community services like childcare, food and housing programs, and opportunities for safe, socially-distanced connections.
“Health and wellness services are part of the YMCA mission, but we are so much more than a gym,” reinforced Stewart. “However, our ability to offer childcare for essential workers, provide housing to the homeless, or distribute meals for families who would otherwise go hungry, is dependent on our ability to generate revenue from our health and wellness services. Without members, we will not be able to fund our mission.”
Since being allowed to reopen in late-August, visits to YMCAs have decreased 72% versus 2019.
“The YMCA is a community-based non-profit organization that provides services in the areas of youth development, healthy living, and social responsibility,” said Stewart. “Our facilities are multi-faceted operations, and as such, it’s tough to put us in just one category. We call upon Governor Cuomo to recognize that YMCAs are not super-spreader locations. To make baseless claims to the contrary will result in irreparable harm not only to the New York’s YMCAs, but also to the individuals who rely on our services for their physical, spiritual, and mental health.”
To take a tour and witness the safety protocols in place at your YMCA, and to learn more about the programs being offered at YMCAs around New York, please visit your local Y’s website.