Birmingham area YMCAs to hold off on reopening

By ALEC ETHEREDGE | Managing Editor

Despite the green light from Gov. Kay Ivey, Birmingham area YMCAs will not reopen on Monday, May 11, and will instead wait at least another two weeks.

President and CEO of the YMCA of Greater Birmingham, Dan Pile, said in a press release that they are hoping to reopen in early June.

“We want our doors open,” the release read. “The YMCA of Greater Birmingham’s mission is to serve. We are as eager to welcome you back into our facilities as you are to be here, but even above that desire to reopen, we must prioritize your safety and the safety of our dedicated staff.

This comes after consultation and recommendation from Dr. Mark Wilson, the Jefferson County Health Officer, to refrain from having public gatherings of more than 10 people for at least another two weeks.

“We are using this time to make any necessary adjustments to our facilities and protocols,” the release said. “We serve approximately 60,000 people each year through our facilities and programs, and we take that responsibility seriously.

On Friday, May 8, Ivey announced that restaurants, gyms and close-contact services like barbershops, salons and tattoo parlors could reopen with proper safety measures and at 50-percent capacity.

Ivey and State Health Officer Dr. Scott Harris, however, both advised that COVID-19 is still a danger that should be taken seriously when thinking about reopening businesses.

The YMCA of Greater Birmingham sent a letter to all of its members with the same message and emphasized that public health comes first. The organization said they will announce a specific opening date as soon as possible.

“We appreciate your commitment to the YMCA,” the release read. “We will continue to do our best to keep you informed with more details in the coming days.”