Valencia’s YMCA reopens after monthslong closure

Cristina Herrera, left, and Robyn Kamp, right, assist two YMCA guests as they check in to the organization's newly reopened facility in Valencia. July 06, 2020. Bobby Block / The Signal.
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After a nearly four-month closure due to the pandemic, Valencia’s YMCA reopened Monday with multiple safety measures in place, such as temperature checks before entering and a reorganized fitness center for physical distancing. 

“We closed March 16 and today is the first day we opened back up,” said Erin Weiss, an associate executive at the local YMCA. “In that time, we definitely cleaned up a lot and reorganized and so now we’re really excited to see our members again.” 

The YMCA is reopening its Valencia facility located on McBean Parkway. July 06, 2020. Bobby Block / The Signal.

In mid-May, Gov. Gavin Newsom announced a new wave of reopenings: Fitness centers and health clubs could open, but would have to implement protocols that ensured guests could practice physical distancing and other measures to help prevent the spread of COVID-19. 

Valencia’s facility did not lag on implementing changes for a safe reopening, said Weiss. 

To check in, for example, members have their temperatures taken and are asked questions such as, “Have you left the country in the last 14 days?” and “Have you been in contact with anyone who has tested positive for COVID-19?” 

Guests are also required to wear face masks and gloves and can check in online or via tablets, where members are greeted by staff behind Plexiglass. At the fitness center, machines are spread out and the swimming pool has lanes separating sections to allow for three people at a time. Group exercises, including aquatic and aerobics classes, are currently on hold. 

The day camp will resume and will be hosted at the branch, albeit with changes to ensure children are safe, said Weiss. 

“It will look a little different but we’re excited to host families again because many parents are returning to work, so we want to offer them a safe space for their children. We do have limited space,” she said, encouraging those who are interested in registering to call the Valencia location. 

The branch is located at 26147 McBean Pkwy. For more information visit ymcala.org/santa-clarita

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